The influence of sitting time and physical activity on health outcomes in public housing residents

Ethn Dis. 2014 Summer;24(3):370-5.


Objectives: Examine differences between levels of physical activity and sitting time for residents of public housing developments located in high vs low income neighborhoods, and whether physical activity or sitting time had a greater influence on health outcomes.

Design: Secondary data analysis from the Healthful Options Using Streets and Transportation in Our Neighborhoods (HOUSTON) project.

Setting: Public housing developments located in Houston, TX.

Participants: African American, adult males and females.

Main outcome measures: Self-reported PA and time spent sitting on weekdays were measured using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) short form. Participants completed measures of BMI (kg/m2), % body fat (%BF) and resting blood pressure to assess health outcomes. Neighborhood income was defined as the median household income at the census block group level, obtained from the 2006-2010 American Community Survey.

Results: All participants (N = 216) had an annual household income of < or = $19,350, and neighborhood income ranged from $9,226 to $57,618. Participants reported an average of 4342.2 +/- 4828.3 MET-min/wk of physical activity, and 4.5 +/- 3.2 hours of sitting per weekday. Time spent sitting was associated with BMI (beta = .50, t = 2.4, P = .018), %BF (beta = .87, t = 3.6, P =.000), and diastolic blood pressure (beta = .62, t = 2.1, P = .041). Physical activity was not significantly associated with any health outcomes.

Conclusion: Our findings indicate that public housing residents' health statuses are vulnerable to sedentary behaviors regardless of the affluence of the neighborhood surrounding the housing development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Black or African American*
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Poverty / ethnology
  • Public Housing*
  • Sedentary Behavior / ethnology*
  • Time Factors