Small studies among elderly Filipino Americans showed that the effect of chronic co-morbidities can have an impact on their functional status and ability.
In a small study of Asian American older adults in New York City, Filipino older adults (N=52) claimed the second lowest number of ADL impairments (0.2) compared to other Asian ethnic minorities (Asian American Federation of New York, 2003), and the second lowest number of medical problems (2.2) after Japanese older adults (Asian American Federation of New York, 2003). Using SF-36 Quality of Life Sub- Scales, Filipino older adults reported having the best general health, vitality, social functioning, quality of life, and mental health compared with other Asian American groups (Asian American Federation of New York, 2003,).
They also spend more time at leisure activities such as walking, physical exercise, shopping, and working at hobbies than other Asian ethnic minorities (Asian American Federation of New York, 2003).
Another small study assessing physical activity and functioning of elderly Filipino Americans (N=47) living in Oahu, Hawaii revealed that many subjects with multiple chronic diseases led sedentary lives and engaged less in physical exercise (Ceria, 2005).
Among the small groups of Filipino Americans who participated in seven ethnic-specific focus group surveys to determine perspectives on physical activity and exercise, most stated that exercise was perceived as important in counteracting the effects of high-fat diets in the US. They also agreed that physical activity and exercise aided digestion and circulation and made them feel strong, healthy, and energetic (Belza, 2004).