The authors have no conflicts of interest in the subject matter discussed in this manuscript.
Differences in Leisure-time, Household, and Work-related Physical Activity by Race, Ethnicity, and Education
Version of Record online: 17 MAR 2005
Journal of General Internal Medicine
Volume 20, Issue 3, pages 259–266, March 2005
How to Cite
He, X. Z. and Baker, D. W. (2005), Differences in Leisure-time, Household, and Work-related Physical Activity by Race, Ethnicity, and Education. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 20: 259–266. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1497.2005.40198.x
Address requests for reprints to Dr. He: Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Northwestern University, 676 N. Saint Clair Street, Suite 200, Chicago, IL 60611 (e-mail: email@example.com).
- Issue online: 13 APR 2005
- Version of Record online: 17 MAR 2005
- Accepted for publication August 27, 2004
- physical activity;
Background: Racial and ethnic minority groups have lower levels of leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) than whites, but it is unclear how much of this is explained by differences in socioeconomic status and health.
Objective: To examine differences in LTPA, work-related physical activity (WRPA; heavy household chores and strenuous job activities), and total physical activity (TPA) by race, ethnicity, and education.
Design, Setting, and Participants: Cross-sectional analyses of data from the 1992 Health and Retirement Study for a nationally representative cohort of 9,621 community-dwelling adults aged 51–61 years.
Measurements: Physical activity scores for LTPA, WRPA, and TPA based upon self-reported frequency of light or vigorous recreational activities, heavy household chores, and strenuous job-related physical activities.
Main Results: LTPA was lower for blacks and Hispanics compared to whites, and LTPA steadily declined with lower levels of education. WRPA showed the reverse pattern, being lowest for whites and persons with greater education. Education was far more important than race/ethnicity as a determinant of LTPA and WRPA in multivariate analyses. After adjusting for differences in overall health and physical functioning, mean TPA scores were similar across racial/ethnic and education categories; blacks (β=1.0; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.5 to 1.5) and Spanish-speaking Hispanics (β=1.1; 95% CI, 0.3 to 1.9) had slightly higher levels of TPA than whites (P<.01 and P=.01, respectively).
Conclusions: Differences in educational attainment and health status accounted for virtually all of the racial and ethnic differences in LTPA. After accounting for WRPA, TPA was similar across race, ethnicity, and education subgroups.