Influence of socio-economic status on habitual physical activity and sedentary behavior in 8- to 11-year old children

Drenowatz, Clemens; Eisenmann, Joey C; Pfeiffer, Karin A; Welk, Greg; Heelan, Kate; Gentile, Douglas; Walsh, David
January 2010
BMC Public Health;2010, Vol. 10, p214
Academic Journal
Background: While socio-economic status has been shown to be an important determinant of health and physical activity in adults, results for children and adolescents are less consistent. The purpose of this study, therefore, is to examine whether physical activity and sedentary behavior differs in children by socio-economic status (SES) independent of body mass index. Methods: Data were from two cohorts including 271 children (117 males; 154 females) in study 1 and 131 children in study 2 (63 males; 68 females). The average age was 9.6 and 8.8 years respectively. Height and body mass were assessed according to standard procedures and body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) was calculated. Parent-reported household income was used to determine SES. Habitual, free-living physical activity (PA) was assessed by a pedometer (steps/day) in study 1 and accelerometer (time spent in moderate-to-vigorous PA) in study 2. Self-reported time spent watching TV and on the computer was used as measure of sedentary behavior. Differences in PA and sedentary behavior by SES were initially tested using ANOVA. Further analyses used ANCOVA controlling for BMI, as well as leg length in the pedometer cohort. Results: In study 1, mean daily steps differed significantly among SES groups with lower SES groups approximating 10,500 steps/day compared to about 12,000 steps/day in the higher SES groups. These differences remained significant (p < 0.05) when controlling for leg length. Lower SES children, however, had higher body mass and BMI compared to higher SES groups (p < 0.05) and PA no longer remained significant when further controlling for BMI. In study 2 results depended on the methodology used to determine time spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Only one equation resulted in significant group differences (p = 0.015), and these differences remained after controlling for BMI. Significant differences between SES groups were shown for sedentary behavior in both cohorts (P < 0.05) with higher SES groups spending less time watching TV than low SES groups. Conclusions: Children from a low SES show a trend of lower PA levels and spend more time in sedentary behavior than high SES children; however, differences in PA were influenced by BMI. The higher BMI in these children might be another factor contributing to increased health risks among low SES children compared to children from with a higher SES.


Related Articles

  • Effect of socioeconomic status on objectively measured physical activity. Kelly, L. A.; Reilly, J. J.; Fisher, A.; Montgomery, C.; Williamson, A.; McColi, J. H.; Paton, J. Y.; Grant, S. // Archives of Disease in Childhood;Jan2006, Vol. 91 Issue 1, p35 

    Background: A socioeconomic gradient in childhood obesity is known to be present by the age of school entry in the UK. The origin of this gradient is unclear at present, but must lie in socioeconomic differences in habitual physical activity, sedentary behaviour, or dietary intake. Aims: To test...

  • Changes in occupational class differences in leisure-time physical activity: a follow-up study. Seiluri, Tina; Lahti, Jouni; Rahkonen, Ossi; Lahelma, Eero; Lallukka, Tea // International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition & Physical Activit;2011, Vol. 8, p14 

    Background: Physical activity is known to have health benefits across population groups. However, less is known about changes over time in socioeconomic differences in leisure-time physical activity and the reasons for the changes. We hypothesised that class differences in leisure-time physical...

  • The Chairman's Curse: Lethal Sitting. Levine, James A. // Mayo Clinic Proceedings;Aug2014, Vol. 89 Issue 8, p1030 

    The article discusses papers published within the issue, including one on the link between low physical fitness and sedentariness, and another on predicting cardiometabolic risk by sedentariness.

  • Socioeconomic Status, Physical Activity, Physical Fitness and Sedentary Activity in 7-to 11-year-old Iranian Children. Esmaeilzadeh, Samad // Pertanika Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities;3/ 1/2014, Vol. 22 Issue 1, p409 

    This study aimed at Evaluating the socioeconomic status (SES), physical activity (PA), physical fitness and sedentary activity in Iranian children aged 7-11 years. We analysed the following cross-section data from a selected sample of children (N=766) aged 7 to 11 years: age, anthropometric...

  • Health and fitness of young people: what is the role of sport?  // British Journal of Sports Medicine;Sep2011, Vol. 45 Issue 11, p837 

    An introduction to the journal is presented in which the editor discusses various reports published within the issue including one on the levels of fitness and physical activity in young people, another about the health risk of physical inactivity, and one about school-based interventions.

  • Systematic Observation of Physical Activity in Afterschool Programs: Preliminary Findings From Movin' Afterschool Intervention. William Beets, Michael; Huberty, Jennifer; Beighle, Aaron // Journal of Physical Activity & Health;Sep2013, Vol. 10 Issue 7, p974 

    Background: National and state organizations have called upon afterschool programs (3-6 PM, ASP) to promote physical activity (PA). Few strategies exist that ASPs can use to increase the PA of children enrolled. This study evaluated a policy-level intervention (Movin' Afterschool, MAS) designed...

  • Physical activity opportunities in low socioeconomic status neighbourhoods. Lee, R. E.; Mama, S. K.; Banda, J. A.; Bryant, L. G.; McAlexander, K. P. // Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health;Dec2009, Vol. 63 Issue 12, p4 

    The article compares the physical activity resources in lower socioeconomic status neighbourhoods (SES) and higher SES in the U.S.

  • The new science: 'Inactivity Physiology'.  // Active Living;Jul2011, Vol. 20 Issue 4, p27 

    The article focuses on the inactivity physiology or the science of sedentary behavior as discussed by Len Kravitz during the 15th annual Health & Fitness Summit hosted by the American College of Sports Medicine held in Anaheim, California.

  • Gender Constancy: A Methodological and Theoretical Analysis. Martin, Carol Lynn; Halverson Jr., Charles F. // Sex Roles;Jul83, Vol. 9 Issue 7, p775 

    Two widely used tests of gender constancy, one verbal and one perceptual, were given to 26 4-to-6-year-old children. Children were classified at different levels of gender constancy, depending on which test was used. These discrepant results were nor accounted for by the differences in the way...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics