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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 97, Issue 4, pp 271–276 | Cite as

Physical Activity and Ethnicity

Evidence from the Canadian Community Health Survey
  • Shirley N. Bryan
  • Mark S. TremblayEmail author
  • Claudio E. Pérez
  • Chris I. Ardern
  • Peter T. Katzmarzyk
Article
  • 1 Downloads

Abstract

Background: A large proportion of the Canadian population lives a sedentary lifestyle. Few data are available describing the physical activity behaviours among specific ethnic groups in Canada, so the purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between ethnicity and the level of self-reported physical activity.

Methods: Pooled data from cycles 1.1 (2000/01) and 2.1 (2003) of the cross-sectional Canadian Community Health Survey (ages 20–64 yrs; N=171,513) were used for this study. Weighted prevalences of self-reported leisure-time moderate (≥1.5 kcal·kg−1·day−1 (kkd)); moderate to high (≥3 kkd) and high physical activity (≥6 kkd) were calculated, and multiple logistic regression models were used to quantify the odds of being physically active across ethnic groups, after adjustment for several covariates (White referent group).

Results: The rank order of prevalence of being moderately physically active by ethnicity was: White (49%), Other (48%), NA Aboriginal (47%), Latin American (40%), East/Southeast Asian (39%), Black (38%), West Asian/Arab (36%), South Asian (34%). Aboriginal men and women had the highest prevalences of being physically active at ≥3 kkd (M=32%, F=22%) while East/Southeast Asian (19%) and East Asian/Arab men (19%), and South Asian women (12%) had the lowest prevalences. After accounting for covariates, Aboriginal men were at elevated odds of being physically active compared to Whites (≥3 kkd, OR=1.6, p<0.05; ≥6 kkd, OR=2.7, p<0.05). Only 7% and 3% of Canadian men and women, respectively, were active at ≥6 kkd.

Conclusion: These results suggest that the prevalence of physically active Canadian adults varies by ethnicity. Strategies to promote physical activity and prevent physical inactivity should consider these findings.

MeSH terms

Race ethnicity exercise epidemiology population 

Résumé

Contexte: Une proportion importante de la population canadienne a un mode de vie sédentaire. Il existe peu de données décrivant les comportements en matière d’activité physique de certains groupes ethniques au Canada. Cette étude vise donc à examiner le rapport entre l’origine ethnique et le niveau d’activité physique autodéclaré.

Méthode: Pour cette étude, nous avons utilisé des données regroupées des cycles 1.1 (2000–2001) et 2.1 (2003) de l’Enquête transversale sur la santé dans les collectivités canadiennes (personnes âgées de 20 à 64 ans; N=171 513). Des prévalences pondérées de l’activité physique autodéclarée durant les loisirs (modérée [≥1,5 kcal·kg−1·jour−1 (KKJ)], modérée à élevée [≥3 KKJ] et élevée [≥6 KKJ]) ont été calculées, et des modèles de régression logistique multiple ont servi à quantifier la cote exprimant la probabilité d’être physiquement actif selon le groupe ethnique, après rajustement selon plusieurs covariables (le groupe de référence était de race blanche).

Résultats: L’ordre de classement de la prévalence de l’activité physique modérée selon l’origine ethnique était le suivant: Blancs (49 %), Autres (48 %), Autochtones de l’Amérique du Nord (47 %), Latino-Américains (40 %), Asiatiques de l’Est/du Sud Est (39 %), Noirs (38 %), Asiatiques de l’Ouest/Arabes (36 %), Asiatiques du Sud (34 %). Les hommes et les femmes autochtones avaient la prévalence la plus forte d’être physiquement actifs, à ≥3 KKJ (H=32 %, F=22 %), tandis que les hommes originaires de l’Asie de l’Est/du Sud Est (19 %), de l’Asie de l’Est et des pays arabes (19 %), de même que les femmes de l’Asie du Sud (12 %), avaient la prévalence la plus faible. Une fois prises en compte les covariables, les hommes autochtones obtenaient une cote exprimant la probabilité d’être physiquement actifs élevée comparativement aux Blancs (≥3 KKJ, RC=1,6, p<0,05; ≥6 KKJ, RC=2,7, p<0,05). Seulement 7 % et 3 % des Canadiens et Canadiennes, respectivement, avaient un niveau d’activité supérieur ou égal à 6 KKJ.

Conclusion: Ces résultats montrent que la prévalence de l’activité physique chez les adultes canadiens varie selon l’origine ethnique. Les stratégies visant à promouvoir l’activité physique et à prévenir la sédentarité devraient donc en tenir compte.

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shirley N. Bryan
    • 1
  • Mark S. Tremblay
    • 1
    Email author
  • Claudio E. Pérez
    • 1
  • Chris I. Ardern
    • 2
  • Peter T. Katzmarzyk
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Statistics CanadaOttawaCanada
  2. 2.School of Physical and Health EducationQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada
  3. 3.Department of Community Health and EpidemiologyQueen’s UniversityCanada

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