The U.S. observance of Hispanic Heritage Month, sometimes referred to as LatinX Heritage Month, kicks off on September 15 and ends October 15. Several important, historical events land within this period, including Independence Day for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, on September 15, Mexico’s following on September 16, and Chile’s on September 18. Dia de la Raza (Day of the Race) also known as Columbus Day or Indigenous Peoples’ Day fall within this month on October 12. According to Census.Gov, there were 60.6 million Hispanic-identifying people residing in the U.S. in July 2019, and Hispanic Heritage Month recognizes the roles and contributions of these groups to the building of America as we know it today. In celebration, this week’s BHIC posts will focus on the health and well-being of the spectrum of these identities.
Physical Health –
LatinX and Hispanic people are among the populations that face some of the highest rates of illness and death due to chronic diseases and conditions. While some of these diseases and conditions are preventable, social determinants of health such as lack of access to healthcare services or health insurance, and environmental health hazards (air pollution, industrial contamination) disproportionately affect communities of color. Other structural problems, whether created by design or negligence, include neighborhoods with less access to parks with adequate sanitation and safety, space for bike paths and walking create barriers to achieving improved health.
Some of the ways these communities overcome these barriers to physical activity while honoring their roots, culture, and continued resistance to oppressive systems include movement such as capoeira, salsa dancing, baile folklórico (folkloric dance), and la cueca. Find research and health information resources to learn more about promoting physical health in these communities.
Balance & Activity in Latinos, Addressing Mobility in Older Adults – Institute for Health Research and Policy of the University of Illinois at Chicago
Celebrating 30 Years of the ADA: Hugo’s Experience – Hugo Trevino, M.Ed. for the National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD)
Exercise is Medicine®, Rx for Health series (Spanish & multiple languages) – American College of Sports Medicine
Hernandez, Rosalba et al. “The impact of exercise on depressive symptoms in older Hispanic/Latino adults: results from the ‘¡Caminemos!’ study.” Aging & mental health vol. 23,6 (2019): 680-685. doi:10.1080/13607863.2018.1450833
Marquez, David X et al. “Regular Latin Dancing and Health Education May Improve Cognition of Late Middle-Aged and Older Latinos.” Journal of aging and physical activity vol. 25,3 (2017): 482-489. doi:10.1123/japa.2016-0049
Muévate a tu Manera: Consejos para aumentar la actividad física dentro del hogar / Move Your Way: Tips for Getting Active Indoors – U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Muévete a tu Manera: Consejos para aumentar la actividad física en familia / Move Your Way: Tips for Busy Days – U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Additional References & Resources
Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month – CDC.gov
Food Desert – MedlinePlus.gov
Hispanic Heritage Month: September 15 – October 15 – Office of Minority Health
Hispanic American Health – MedlinePlus.gov –
Latino Health Disparities – League of United Latin American Citizens
Resources for Creating Healthy, Sustainable, and Equitable Communities – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
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