Dissertations & Theses (Open Access)

Date of Award

Spring 5-2019

Degree Name

Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)


Belinda Reininger, Drph

Second Advisor

Minjae Lee, Phd

Third Advisor

Clint Pinion, Drph


Objectives Mexican Americans are burdened with many of the same noncommunicable diseases present in sedentary populations. Those living on the Texas/Mexico border have higher rates of obesity and diabetes than others in the nation. Sedentary behavior and perceptions of the environment have not been well studied among Mexican Americans, especially when examining education, gender and age. Study Design Sample was drawn from the Cameron County Hispanic Cohort (CCHC) where participants were randomly selected and completed a survey to report sedentary behavior and perceptions of the environment among other examinations. The participants’ initial visit with the CCHC was included in the analysis. Methods Descriptive statistics and logistic regression tested the effect of protective and risk factors on sedentary lifestyle. Age, gender, and education were examined as effect

modifiers. Using Kingdon’s window theory, a policy brief on H.R. 228—Increase Transportation Alternatives Act of 2019 was developed to disseminate results. Results The overall adjusted logistic regression model demonstrated that each unit increase in protective environmental factors, years of education, and being female lowered the odds of being sedentary. For each unit increase in age and risk environmental factors, sedentary behavior increased. Conclusions In an adjusted model, the environmental protective and risk factors had a measurable effect on the odds of being sedentary.