Physical inactivity and overweight among Los Angeles County adults

Am J Prev Med. 2004 Aug;27(2):146-52. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2004.03.012.


Objectives: The present study examines sociodemographic, health status, health behavioral, and health-related self-perception correlates of physical inactivity in a large, multiethnic urban population.

Methods: A random-digit-dialed telephone survey of a representative sample of 8353 Los Angeles County adults aged >/= 18 years was conducted between September 17, 1999 and December 31, 2000. Data were analyzed to assess the prevalence and identify independent correlates of physical inactivity, defined as <10 minutes of continuous physical activity weekly ("sedentary").

Results: Overall, the prevalence of sedentary adults was 41%. Lower educational attainment, female gender, advancing age, non-U.S. birthplace, poorer self-perceived health status, self-perceived depression, smoking, leisure-time television watching/computer use, and receiving a diabetes diagnosis were significantly related to sedentariness in both bivariate and multivariate analyses.

Conclusions: Mental and physical health status were prominent correlates of sedentariness. Lower socioeconomic class was also associated with sedentary behavior. Further research is needed to understand the relationship between self-perceived overweight and sedentary behavior.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Data Collection
  • Educational Status
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Los Angeles / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Prevalence
  • Random Allocation