Secular Trends in Physical Activity Among Immigrants in the United States, 2009–2018

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background: The objective of this study was to evaluate secular trends in domain-specific physical activity in the immigrant population in the US between 2009 and 2018. Method: A secondary data analysis from the 2009–2018 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey; a total of 7282 immigrants in the US were included in this analysis. All domain-specific physical activity was assessed by a self-reported questionnaire. Tests for linear trends were performed to examine the trends of each physical activity time using orthogonal polynomial coefficients. Physical activity trends were assessed by the whole group and the various subgroups. Results: Total physical activity showed an upward linear trend in female (Ptrend = .04) and young adult (Ptrend = .009) immigrants. Work-related physical activity showed an upward linear trend in young adult immigrants (Ptrend = .01). Recreational physical activity showed an upward linear trend in young adult (Ptrend = .03) and Mexican American (Ptrend < .001) immigrants and in immigrants living in the US for 15–29 years (Ptrend = .02). In contrast, we observed downward linear trends in transit-related physical activity for immigrants across male (Ptrend = .04), middle-aged adult (Ptrend = .01), and non-Hispanic black groups (Ptrend = .004) and in immigrants living in the US for 15–29 years (Ptrend = .03). Conclusion: There were no significant linear trends in the 4 domains of physical activity in the overall US immigrant population; however, trends in domain-specific physical activity in the US immigrant population differed by gender, age, race/ethnicity, and length of residence. These findings may inform physical activity promotion strategies targeting US immigrant populations with diverse sociocultural backgrounds.

Jung, Ryu, and Kang are with the Health and Sport Analytics Laboratory, Department of Health, Exercise Science, and Recreation Management, The University of Mississippi, University, MS, USA. Jung is also with the Exercise and Memory Laboratory, Department of Health, Exercise Science, and Recreation Management, The University of Mississippi, University, MS, USA. Kim is with the Institute of Child Nutrition, School of Applied Sciences, The University of Mississippi, University, MS, USA.

Jung (mjung4@go.olemiss.edu) is corresponding author.
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