Research Study Abstract

Physical Activity Among Children And Youth With Ethnic Minority Background In Norway

  • Presented on May 31, 2013

Health authorities recommend that schoolchildren should be physically active for at least 60 minutes every day. The physical activity (PA) level of Norwegian children and youth with ethnic minority background is not well known.

Purpose The purpose of this study was to monitor the PA level of children and youth with ethnic minority background in Norway.

Methods The study was carried out in 2011. A total of 3538 6-, 9- and 15 year olds participated in the study (50% girls). In total, 404 were of ethnic minority background (both parents born in a non-Western country, including Asia, Africa, Latin America, Oceania without Australia and New Zealand, and Europe without EU/EEA). Physical activity was registered objectively, using ActiGraph accelerometers for seven consecutive days. Analysis of covariance was utilized to assess differences in PA between the groups.

Results In total, 91% of the 6-year-olds, 78% of the 9-year-olds and 51% of the 15-year-olds met PA recommendations. 76% of the participants with a Western background met PA recommendations, whilst only 62% of the ethnic minority group did the same. Among 6-year-olds there was no significant difference in the prevalence meeting PA recommendations between Western and ethnic minority participants. In 9-year-olds, on the other hand, a larger part of the Western participants fulfilled recommendations than the ethnic minority participants (girls: 79 vs 52%, p=0.001, boys: 91 vs 72%, p=0.01). Among the 15-year-old girls the largest difference between the two groups were observed. Whilst 63% of the 15-year olds with Western background met recommendations, only 29% of the ethnic minority girls did the same (p=0.001).

Conclusion 15-year olds are significantly less physical active than 9-year olds, and 9-year olds are significantly less physical active than 6-year olds. Further, ethnic minority children and youth are less physically active compared to their counterparts with a Western background. These results reveal less positive prospects considering the activity level of the future adult generation, and actions should be carried out, among others to increase the activity level among children and youth with ethnic minority background in Norway.

Presented at

ACSM 2013 Annual Meeting


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