Jake C. Diana, Zachary Y. Kerr, Lee Stoner, FACSM. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC.

BACKGROUND: People of sexual orientation and gender identity minorities, or queer individuals, are at greater risk for a multitude of cardiometabolic disorders and other chronic diseases. These disparities are likely engendered in structural discrimination against these groups, mental health issues, and subsequent coping behaviors. What is less studied are the impacts of these harmful experiences unique to queer individuals on health behaviors and physical activity patterns. Limited existing literature notes significant differences in total amounts of physical activity and sedentarism within subgroups of the LGBTQ+ community compared to their heterosexual and cisgendered individuals. For example, transexual individuals self-report lower levels of daily physical activity against their cisgendered peers. This disparity is also observed within the lesbian community against heterosexual women. The determinants and antecedents to these trends point to unique and significant barriers to healthy physical activity levels experienced by the community. Our understanding of the breadth and magnitude of these challenges necessitate further study to make a healthy, exercise-centric lifestyle more equitable and freely available. METHODS: Three initiatives will be taken to examine the scope of these expected disparities: (i) Secondary analysis of existing datasets to expand the literature of trends in physical activity and sedentary behavior within subgroups of the LGBTQ + community. (ii) Physiological research on the cardiometabolic profiles of queer young adults. We will perform subgroup analysis within the existing Cardiometabolic Outcome Negation Through Early-adulthood ConteXT-specific Sedentary Behavior reduction (CONTEXT-SB) cohort run within the Cardiometabolic Laboratory. Physical activity profiles along with outcomes of cardiometabolic function will be collected to allow researchers to identify the impact of physical activity disparities on whole-body cardiovascular health. (iii) Qualitative review of young gay cisgendered male’s perception on physical activity within the LGBTQ+ community. We will conduct standardized interviews and focus groups within this subpopulation to identify unique aspects on attitudes towards physical activity. ANTICIPATED RESULTS: Members of the LGBTQ+ community will have significantly poorer physical activity and sedentary behavior profiles compared to their heterosexual peers.

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