“The association between socioeconomic status and ethnicity on cardiorespiratory fitness and physical activity in Norwegian adolescents”
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Objective: To study the associations between socioeconomic status and ethnicity on cardiorespiratory fitness and physical activity levels. Research methods and procedures: The sample size was 707 9th grade adolescents from seven schools in Oslo and surrounding municipalities. 352 males (49,8%) and 355 females (50,2%). All the participants were categorized as either high SES 444 (62,8%) or low SES 263 SES (37,2%), based on Statistics Norway´s numbers on education, income and life-expectancy. All participants were addressed to the districts of their schools. Furthermore, 543 (76,8%) answered sufficiently regarding ethnicity, and were categorized as either Western 361 (66,5%) or Non-Western 182 (33,5%). The dependent variables were both objectively measured. CRF with the Andersen test and PAL with accelerometers. Results: When all the independent variables are controlled for each other, i.e. ethnicity, SES and gender, significant differences in physical activity levels measured from the accelerometer is only apparent within gender (p = 0.000), and not SES (p = 0.510) and ethnicity (p = 0.194) Cardiorespiratory fitness however is significantly associated by all three independent variables (p ≤ 0.001). Discussion: The fact that SES and ethnicity in this study are only associated with CRF and not PAL underlines the complex nature of studying physical activity. Non-Western immigrants are not a homogenous group, and future studies could focus more on the diversity within ethnic groups. Furthermore, earlier studies regarding this topic shows that the disparities may be greater among girls compared to boys. Therefore further studies must continue to look at gender differences within SES and especially ethnicity. Finally, research methods used on SES and PA are not always comparable. One should strive to use objective measures for PA and unite on a better way to measure SES.
Masteroppgave - Norges idrettshøgskole, 2017