Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Trends in No Leisure-Time Physical Activity-United States, 1988-2010

Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Trends in No Leisure-Time Physical Activity-United States, 1988-2010

Article excerpt

Purpose: The aim of this study was to examine trends in the prevalence of no leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) from 1988 to 2010. Method: Using the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data, 35 states and the District of Columbia reported information on no LTPA from 1988 to 1994; all states reported no LTPA from 1996 to 2010. Results: No LTPA significantly declined over two decades. Prevalence for all states declined on an average of O. 6 % per year from 29.1% in 1996 to 24.1% in 2004 and stabilized from 2005 to 2010, ranging from 24.0% to 25. 4 %. Prevalence declined for both sexes and all racial/ethnic groups. Conclusion: While the no LTPA trends improved over two decades, one in four US. adults still report they do not engage in LTPA.

Key words: physical inactivity, public health, risk factor, surveillance system

Strong scientific evidence shows physically inactive versus active adults are at greater risk for developing a number of chronic diseases, including coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, colon and breast cancers, depression, and premature death (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [USDHHS], 2008). The percentage of U.S. adults who engage in no leisure-time physical activity (no LTPA) improved from 1988 to 2004 (Carlson, Densmore, Fulton, Yore, & Kohl, 2009, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2004, 2005), but about one fourth remain physically inactive.

Updated population shifts in no LTPA have not been reported. The main purpose of public health surveillance is to systematically monitor the population's health over time (Thacker & Berkelman, 1988) and use the information about trends to inform intervention, programmatic and policy-related decision making to improve public health. It is important, therefore, to present new long-term no LTPA trend data from 1988 to 2010. Therefore, the purpose of this analysis was to examine trends in the prevalence of no LTPA from 1988 to 2010 among U.S. adults.

Method

We analyzed data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) from 1988 to 2010. BRFSS is a state-based, random-digit-dialed telephone survey of U.S. civilian, noninstitutionalized populations ages [greater than or equal to] 18 years. For this analysis, we assessed trends from two periods: 1988-1994 and 1996-2010. From 1988 to 1994, one question on no LTPA was included in 6 survey years (1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, and 1994) for 35 states and the District of Columbia (DC). From 1996 to 2000, one question on no LTPA was included in the survey every even year (1996, 1998, and 2000) for all 50 states and DC. From 2001 to 2010, data were collected every year for all states and DC. In total, there are 19 years of no LTPA-data collected over the 23-year period. Annual BRFSS sample sizes for the 35 states and DC increased substantially over time from 54,685 in 1988 to 124,085 in 1996. In 2010, the sample size was 451,075 for the 50 states and DC. We did not need institutional review board approval, because these data are part of the public domain and participants are not identifiable.

We used one question on the BRFSS to assess no LTPA. We defined no LTPA as a "no" response to the question, "During the past month, other than your regular job, did you participate in any physical activities or exercise such as running, calisthenics, golf, gardening, or walking for exercise." From 2002 to 2010, the question was slightly different, including the phrase "other than your regular job" at the beginning of the question.

Statistical Analyses

The median Council of American Survey and Research Organizations response rates for the landline BRFSS ranged from 68.8% in 1993 to 52.9% in 2009 (CDC, 2009). We used SUDAAN 10.0 software to account for the complex sampling to calculate the age-adjusted prevalence for each of the 19 time points. Estimates were age-adjusted to the 2000 U.S. projected population (Klein & Schoenborn, 2001). …

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