Immigration and leisure-time physical inactivity: a population-based study

Ethn Health. 2001 May;6(2):77-85. doi: 10.1080/13557850120068405.


Objective: To investigate the relationship between migration status and sedentary leisure-time physical activity status in the city of Malmö, Sweden.

Methods: The public health survey in 1994 is a cross-sectional study. A total of 5,600 individuals aged 20-80 completed a postal questionnaire. The response rate was 71%. The population was categorized according to country of birth. Multivariate analysis was performed using a logistic regression model to investigate the importance of possible confounders for the differences in sedentary leisure-time physical activity status.

Results: The prevalence of a sedentary leisure-time physical activity status was 18.1% among men and 26.7% among women. The odds ratio of a sedentary leisure-time physical activity status was significantly higher among men born in Arabic-speaking countries, in All other countries, and among women born in Yugoslavia, Poland, Arabic-speaking countries, and the category all other countries', compared to the reference group born in Sweden. The multivariate analysis including age, sex, and education did not alter these results.

Conclusion: There were significant ethnic differences in leisure-time physical activity status. This is a CVD risk factor that could be affected by intervention programs aimed at specific ethnic subgroups of the population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Emigration and Immigration*
  • Ethnicity / statistics & numerical data*
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leisure Activities*
  • Life Style
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Population Surveillance
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden / epidemiology