The aim of this study was to investigate the associations of age and education with types of leisure-time physical activity in a population sample of Finnish adults.
The sample, part of the National FINRISK Study, comprised 1940 men and 2497 women age 25 to 64 years. Self-reported questionnaires were used to collect data on education and leisure-time physical activity. Overall leisure-time physical activity was further divided into conditioning and daily physical activity.
In men and women, age had an inverse association with conditioning physical activity but not with daily and overall leisure activity. Strong direct associations were found between education and conditioning and overall leisure activity.
All age groups report fairly similar levels of overall and daily levels of leisure-time physical activity, but the levels differ across educational groups. In health promotion, more emphasis should be targeted to the population groups with lower education.
Borodulin, Laatikainen, Lahti-Koski, and Jousilahti are with the National Public Health Institute, Dept of Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention, FI-00300 Helsinki, Finland. Borodulin is also with the School of Public Health, Univ of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC. Lahti-Koski is also with the Finnish Heart Association, Fi-00621 Helsinki, Finland. Jousilahti is also with the Tampere School of Public Health, Univ of Tampere, Finland. Lakka is with the Dept of Physiology, Univ of Kuopio, and the Kuopio Research Institute of Exercise Medicine, FI-70210 Kuopio, Finland.