Leisure time physical activity: are there black/white differences?

Prev Med. 1992 Jan;21(1):127-35. doi: 10.1016/0091-7435(92)90012-7.


Background: Behavioral risk factor surveillance survey data collected during 1984 and 1985 in South Carolina were analyzed.

Methods: This article is based on telephone interviews conducted with 2,005 individuals (431 black, 1574 white), mean age, 45.1 years, selected by random-digit dialing. Information on the type, frequency, and duration of leisure time physical activity was used to estimate leisure time energy expenditure (kcal/week) averaged over the previous month. The median level of leisure time energy expenditure differed significantly (all P less than 0.001) by gender (men = 741, women = 421), age (six categories; youngest, 18-29 years = 780; oldest, 70+ = 301), annual household income (four categories; lowest, less than or equal to $10,000 = 300; highest, greater than $35,000 = 870), body mass index (kg/m2, less than or equal to 24.1 = 601, greater than or equal to 30.1 = 180), and race (black = 301, white = 601).

Results: Leisure time energy expenditure generally decreased with increasing age and body mass index and increased with increasing levels of education and income among all race/gender groups. Logistic regression analyses revealed that after adjustment for gender (if applicable), age, income, and body mass index, the variable race made a statistically significant contribution to the model, in the total sample (P less than .03) and for women P less than .001), but not for men.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that blacks living in the South, particularly black women, have lower levels of leisure time physical activity compared with their white counterparts after control for several important confounders.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • African Americans*
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Educational Status
  • Energy Metabolism*
  • European Continental Ancestry Group*
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Leisure Activities*
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Surveillance
  • Sex Factors
  • South Carolina