Start Date

16-10-2009 2:30 PM

End Date

16-10-2009 4:00 PM

Description

Physical inactivity is a well-documented risk factor for numerous chronic diseases and a major public health problem in Canada. Since social-ecological models suggest that behaviour is influenced by the person as well as the social and physical environment, it is important to be sensitive to other factors when examining physical activity participation. The purpose of this study was to explore the associations between physical inactivity, marital status and family stage for men and women in Canada.

The study was based on data from the Canadian Community Health Survey, Cycle 2.1, for adults aged 18-64 living with a spouse or partner (with or without children) or single living with children. Respondents were classified as inactive or active according to self-reported leisure-time physical activity. Logistic regression was used to examine gender differences in the relationship between household composition and physical inactivity. Explanatory variables included parents’ age, sex, age of youngest child, income adequacy and interview mode.

Family stage was significantly associated with adult physical inactivity levels. Individuals with very young children (< 6 years old) were more likely to be inactive compared to childless adults or those with older children (>12 years old). Having children between 6-12 years old was related to increased physical activity, possibly due to more family leisure pursuits involving physical activity. Living with a partner was associated with greater physical inactivity, particularly when controlling for income adequacy. Furthermore, those with high income adequacy were less likely to be inactive, and having a very young child increased this difference.

In conclusion, family life course stage and income adequacy were most influential in determining levels of physical inactivity. Therefore, physically active leisure programs targeting adults with very young children, particularly those at lower income levels, may be helpful in increasing physical activity and decreasing health risks associated with inactivity.

Margo Hilbrecht is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Guelph’s Centre for Families, Work and Well-Being. She recently received her Ph.D. from the University of Waterloo in Recreation and Leisure Studies. Her research focuses on time use and work-life integration as it pertains to non-traditional work arrangements, gender and leisure. These interests extend to perceptions of time pressure and stress associated with the coordination of employment, school, and leisure activities in families with school-age children. Her current research explores the social and health consequences of unpredictable work schedules for parents employed in the retail sector.

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Oct 16th, 2:30 PM Oct 16th, 4:00 PM

The Relationship between Physical Inactivity and Family Life Course Stage

Physical inactivity is a well-documented risk factor for numerous chronic diseases and a major public health problem in Canada. Since social-ecological models suggest that behaviour is influenced by the person as well as the social and physical environment, it is important to be sensitive to other factors when examining physical activity participation. The purpose of this study was to explore the associations between physical inactivity, marital status and family stage for men and women in Canada.

The study was based on data from the Canadian Community Health Survey, Cycle 2.1, for adults aged 18-64 living with a spouse or partner (with or without children) or single living with children. Respondents were classified as inactive or active according to self-reported leisure-time physical activity. Logistic regression was used to examine gender differences in the relationship between household composition and physical inactivity. Explanatory variables included parents’ age, sex, age of youngest child, income adequacy and interview mode.

Family stage was significantly associated with adult physical inactivity levels. Individuals with very young children (< 6 years old) were more likely to be inactive compared to childless adults or those with older children (>12 years old). Having children between 6-12 years old was related to increased physical activity, possibly due to more family leisure pursuits involving physical activity. Living with a partner was associated with greater physical inactivity, particularly when controlling for income adequacy. Furthermore, those with high income adequacy were less likely to be inactive, and having a very young child increased this difference.

In conclusion, family life course stage and income adequacy were most influential in determining levels of physical inactivity. Therefore, physically active leisure programs targeting adults with very young children, particularly those at lower income levels, may be helpful in increasing physical activity and decreasing health risks associated with inactivity.

Margo Hilbrecht is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Guelph’s Centre for Families, Work and Well-Being. She recently received her Ph.D. from the University of Waterloo in Recreation and Leisure Studies. Her research focuses on time use and work-life integration as it pertains to non-traditional work arrangements, gender and leisure. These interests extend to perceptions of time pressure and stress associated with the coordination of employment, school, and leisure activities in families with school-age children. Her current research explores the social and health consequences of unpredictable work schedules for parents employed in the retail sector.