Physical Inactivity Among Older Canadian Adults

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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In spite of the substantial benefits of physical activity for healthy aging, older adults are considered the most physically inactive segment of the Canadian population. This paper examines leisure-time physical inactivity (LTPA) and its correlates among older Canadian adults.


We use data from the Canadian Community Health Survey with 45,265 individuals aged 50–79 years. A logistic regression is estimated and separate regressions are performed for males and females.


About 50% of older Canadian adults are physically inactive. Higher odds of physical inactivity are found among current smokers (OR = 1.52, CI = 1.37–1.69), those who binge-drink (OR = 1.24, CI = 1.11–1.39), visible minorities (OR = 1.60, CI = 1.39–1.85), immigrants (OR = 1.13, CI = 1.02–1.25), individuals with high perceived life stress (OR = 1.48, CI = 1.31–1.66). We also find lower odds of physical inactivity among: males (OR = 0.89, CI = 0.83 to 0.96), those with strong social interaction (OR = 0.71, CI = 0.66–0.77), with general life satisfaction (OR = 0.66, CI = 0.58–0.76) and individuals with more education. Similar results are obtained from separate regressions for males and females.


Identifying the correlates of LTPA among older adults can inform useful intervention measures.

Azagba is with the Dept of Economics, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada and also with Community Health & Epidemiology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Sharaf is with the Dept of Economics, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and the Dept of Economics, Faculty of Commerce, Damanhour University, Egypt.

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