Aim: The aim of this prospective four-year follow-up study was to examine how socioeconomic status (SES) and change in marital status are associated with the change in pedometer-measured physical activity (PA) in adulthood among participants in the 'Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study'. Methods: Questionnaires were completed and pedometers worn at baseline in 2007 and again at follow-up in 2011 by 1051 Finnish adults (62.3% female, aged 30-45 years in 2007). A latent change score model was used to examine mean change in daily total steps, aerobic steps and non-aerobic steps during weekdays and weekend days between 2007 and 2011. Results: In women re-coupling or finding a new partner was associated with decrease in total steps (p=0.010) and being single was associated with increase in non-aerobic steps (p=0.047) during weekdays from 2007 to 2011 compared to women who were married. In men, divorcing was associated with decrease in non-aerobic steps (p=0.049). Conclusions: In order to promote PA in the general population of adults, it is recommended to pay attention to people with lower SES and those who have had changes in their marital status. These factors could be taken into account when developing strategies to promote PA among the adult population.
Keywords: Pedometer; adults; follow-up; marital status; physical activity; socioeconomic status.