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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 97, Issue 4, pp 277–282 | Cite as

Physical Activity and Immigrant Status

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

Abstract

Background: The immigrant population in Canada is diverse and growing, yet little is known about their physical activity behaviour and how it changes as they adapt to a Canadian lifestyle. This study extends the surveillance of physical activity in Canada to include the influence of time since immigration within and between ethnic groups.

Methods: Pooled data from cycles 1.1 (2000/01) and 2.1 (2003) of the cross-sectional Canadian Community Health Survey (ages 20–64 y; N=171,513) were used for this study. Weighted prevalences of self-reported leisure-time physical activity (≥3 kcal·kg−1·day−1 (kkd)) were calculated, and unadjusted and adjusted (age, income, education, BMI) multiple logistic regression models were used to quantify the odds of being physically active (PA) (≥3 kkd) by time since immigration (recent immigrant ≤10 yrs, immigrant >10 yrs, non-immigrant) within and between ethnic groups (White referent group).

Results: The prevalence of recent immigrants (≤10 yrs) being PA (≥3 kkd) by ethnicity was: White (21%), Other (19%), Black (19%), Latin American (17%), West Asian/Arab (16%), East/Southeast Asian (14%), South Asian (11%). Recent immigrant Black men and White women had the highest prevalence of being PA (M=27%, F=18%) while South Asian men and women had the lowest prevalence (M=14%, F=9%). There is a gradient in the prevalence of being PA with recent immigrants (16%) < immigrants (20%) < nonimmigrants (24%). Ethnic differences in the prevalence of being PA by time since immigration show similar patterns for men and women. Controlling for age, income, education and BMI had only small effects on the odds of being physical active across ethnicities and immigrant status.

Conclusion: These results suggest that physical activity levels vary according to immigrant status and self-ascribed ethnicity in Canadian adults. Strategies to promote physical activity and prevent physical inactivity should consider both ethnicity and time since immigration.

MeSH terms

Immigrant race ethnicity exercise epidemiology 

Résumé

Contexte: La population immigrante au Canada est diversifiée et ne cesse de croître, mais on sait peu de choses au sujet de son comportement en matière d’activité physique ou sur les modifications qu’on y apporte à mesure que l’on s’adapte au mode de vie canadien. L’étude élargit la surveillance de l’activité physique au Canada en vue d’inclure l’influence de la période écoulée depuis l’immigration, à l’intérieur de groupes ethniques et entre ces groupes.

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 (≥3 kcal·kg−1·jour−1 [KKJ]) ont été calculées, et des modèles de régression logistique multiple rajustés et non rajustés (selon l’âge, le revenu, la scolarité, l’IMC) ont servi à quantifier la cote exprimant la probabilité d’être physiquement actif (≥3 KKJ), selon la période écoulée depuis l’immigration (nouveaux immigrants [≤10 ans], immigrants depuis plus de 10 ans, non-immigrants), à l’intérieur de groupes ethniques et entre ces groupes (le groupe de référence était de race blanche).

Résultats: La prévalence de l’activité physique (≥3 KKJ) chez les nouveaux immigrants selon l’origine ethnique était la suivante: Blancs (21 %), Autres (19 %), Noirs (19 %), Latino-Américains (17 %), Asiatiques de l’Ouest/Arabes (16 %), Asiatiques de l’Est/du Sud-Est (14 %), Asiatiques du Sud (11 %). Les nouveaux immigrants de race noire et de sexe masculin et les femmes de race blanche avaient la prévalence la plus forte d’être physiquement actifs (H=27 %, F=18 %), tandis que les hommes et les femmes sud-asiatiques avaient la prévalence la plus faible (H=14 %, F=9 %). Il existe un gradient dans la prévalence d’être physiquement actif: nouveaux immigrants (16 %) < immigrants (20 %) < non-immigrants (24 %). Les différences ethniques dans la prévalence d’être physiquement actif selon la période écoulée depuis l’immigration montrent des tendances similaires pour les hommes et les femmes. Le fait de contrôler l’âge, le revenu, le niveau de scolarité et l’IMC n’a eu que peu d’effet sur la cote exprimant la probabilité d’être physiquement actif selon l’origine ethnique et le statut d’immigrant.

Conclusion: Ces résultats laissent supposer que les niveaux d’activité physique varient selon le statut d’immigrant et l’origine ethnique autodéclarée des adultes canadiens. Les stratégies pour promouvoir l’activité physique et prévenir la sédentarité devraient donc tenir compte de l’origine ethnique et de la période écoulée depuis l’immigration.

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark S. Tremblay
    • 1
  • Shirley N. Bryan
    • 1
  • Claudio E. Pérez
    • 1
  • Chris I. Ardern
    • 2
  • Peter T. Katzmarzyk
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Health Statistics DivisionStatistics 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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