Prevalence and Correlates of Physical Activity Within On-Reserve First Nations Youth

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background:

Youth in Canada age 5−17 years require a minimum of 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity (PA) everyday. Regrettably, there are no published studies on levels of PA within on-reserve First Nations youth in Canada that use validated surveys. The objective was to determine what percentage of Saskatoon Tribal Council (STC) First Nations on-reserve youth met the Canadian Society for Exercise and Physiology’s (CSEP) definition for being physically active, and what influences are associated with meeting this standard.

Methods:

Students in grades 5−8 within the STC were asked to complete a youth health survey.

Results:

Only 7.4% of STC youth met CSEP’s PA standard. Male youth (13.9%) were more likely to meet the PA standard than female youth (4.1%). Having parents who watch youth participate and who provide transportation to classes, having enough equipment at home, having friends bike or walk to school, participating in physical activity headed by a coach or instructor, and participating in structured classes are associated with meeting the standard.

Conclusions:

The prevalence of meeting the PA standard among on-reserve First Nations youth is very low. More research is needed to identify independent risk indicators of being physically inactive.

Lemstra is with the Dept of Pediatrics, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. Rogers and Moraros are with the School of Public Health, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. Thompson is with the Research Dept, Saskatoon Tribal Council, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

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