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Are Differences in Physical Activity across Socioeconomic Groups Associated with Choice of Physical Activity Variables to Report?

1
Department of Circulation and Medical Imaging, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Postboks 8905, Trondheim N-7491, Norway
2
Department of Neuromedicine and Movement Science, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Postboks 8905, Trondheim N-7491, Norway
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(5), 922; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15050922
Received: 11 March 2018 / Revised: 20 April 2018 / Accepted: 3 May 2018 / Published: 5 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion)
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Abstract

Despite being challenged in recent years, the hypothesis that individuals of higher socioeconomic status (SES) are more physically active than their lower SES counterparts is generally considered a fact. Recent reviews, however, have suggested that differences across groups might be related to which physical activity (PA) domains have been investigated. In the present review, searches for relevant studies were performed in the MEDLINE, ISI Web of Knowledge and SPORTDiscus databases. Search terms included “socioeconomic”, “socio-economic”, “socio economic” and “social class” to meet all variations of the variable “socioeconomic status” in combination with the term “physical activity”. Studies were included when applying the dimensions of intensity, frequency, type/mode, and duration in measuring PA. Fifty-six studies were included and were subsequently split into four PA domains: transport PA (TPA), occupational PA (OPA), housing PA (HPA) and leisure time PA (LTPA). It turned out that the positive relationship held only for LTPA, whereas the relationship was non-existent or even opposite for all other domains. It is concluded that the assumed positive relationship between SES and PA is mainly a relationship between LTPA and SES. It is further suggested that the PA domain should always be considered when studying said relationships. View Full-Text
Keywords: lifestyle; social position; socioeconomic status; physical activity; activity domains; review lifestyle; social position; socioeconomic status; physical activity; activity domains; review
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Stalsberg, R.; Pedersen, A.V. Are Differences in Physical Activity across Socioeconomic Groups Associated with Choice of Physical Activity Variables to Report? Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 922.

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