The impact of socioeconomic status (SES) on objective measures of physical activity (PA) in adolescence is poorly understood. The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to evaluate the association between SES and objectively measured PA in Thai adolescents.
PA was objectively measured every 30 seconds for 7 consecutive days using ActiGraph GT1M uniaxial accelerometers in 177 secondary-school adolescents aged 13 to 18 years that were classified into 3 SES groups (low, middle, and high). The associations between SES and adolescents’ PA were examined using 1-way ANOVA with multiple comparisons and Chi-square test.
Adolescents of low-SES accumulated more minutes of PA and less of sedentary behavior than those of high-SES, Additionally, low-SES adolescents tended to meet the daily PA guidelines more than other groups, particularly in girls (P < .01).
This study evidences an inverse relationship between SES and PA levels, and shows the importance of targeting high SES adolescents in intervention programs to enhance health behaviors. Based on these findings, we also suggest that SES must be considered as an important determinant in promoting regular PA and in increasing proportions of adolescents meeting current health-related PA guidelines.
The authors are with the Research Centre in Physical Activity, Health, and Leisure, Faculty of Sport, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal.