Social inequalities in physical activity among adolescents in Oslo
Background: Analyses of the Oslo health study have indicated distinct social inequalities in health in Oslo. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between physical activity and gender, ethnic groups, socio-economic groups, educational plans and marital status of the parents.
Materials and methods: The Oslo health study is a cross sectional survey carried out in 2000- 2001. 8316 adolescents, 15- 16 years of age, were invited. The participation rate was 88%. All students filled in a self- administered questionnaire during school hours on different health behaviours.Data were analysed using bivariate and multivariate techniques with the use of SPSS.
Results: The average level of physical activity outside school hours for boys in Oslo is 3,5 hours per week, while girls are physical active 2,9 hours per week.Among boys, educational plans (beta-coefficient= 0,24; 95% CI 0,11-0,36) and ethnisity (beta- coefficient= 0,21; 95% CI 0,05-0,37) were important for their physical activity. Socio-economic group and marital status of the parents were not significantly associated with the level of physical activity.Among girls, both ethnisity (beta- coefficient=0,60; 95% CI 0,46-0,73), educational plans (beta- coefficient=0,30; 95% CI 0,18-0,41), socio-economic group (beta- coefficient=0,13; 95% CI 0,02-0,24) and marital status of the parents (beta- coefficient=0,12; 95% CI 0,01-0,23) were of importance.The ethnisity factor is more distinct among girls than among boys (p<0,001).
Interpretation: Social inequalities in physical activity among adolescents in Oslo are distinct. There are bigger inequalities among girls, especially among ethnic groups.