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  • Author: Marita Sodergren x
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Marita Södergren, Kristina Sundquist, Sven-Erik Johansson, Jan Sundquist and Maria Hagströmer


The purpose of this study was to examine the association between total self-reported health-enhancing physical activity and country of birth among women living in Sweden.


Women (age 18 to 65 years) born in Sweden, Finland, Chile, and Iraq were recruited for this cross-sectional study. Data were collected by means of a postal questionnaire including the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ-long version). Self-reported physical activity data were converted to MET-minutes per week and analyzed as continuous or categorical scores. A total of 2649 women were included in the analyses. The association between physical activity and country of birth was explored using ordinal logistic regression assuming proportional odds.


The total physical activity differed significantly between the countries of birth (P < .001). Women from Finland had significant higher odds and women from Iraq had significantly lower odds for reporting higher levels of physical activity, compared with Swedish-born women.


The direction of the associations between self-reported total health-enhancing physical activity varied by country of birth, which underlines the need to examine physical activity in each minority group separately.

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Verity Cleland, Marita Sodergren, Petr Otahal, Anna Timperio, Kylie Ball, David Crawford, Jo Salmon and Sarah A. McNaughton

This study aimed to determine whether associations between the perceived environment and physical activity are moderated by urban-rural status among midolder aged adults. Environmental (safety, aesthetics, physical activity environment) and physical activity (total, leisure, transport) data from 3,888 adults (55 to 65 years) from urban and rural areas of Victoria, Australia, were analyzed. Multinomial logistic regression examined interactions between urban-rural status and environments in associations with physical activity. Significant (P < .05) interactions were evident and indicated positive associations only among older rural adults for both safety and aesthetics with total and transport physical activity (e.g., rural adults reporting higher safety were 91% to 118% more likely to have higher activity than rural adults reporting low safety). In contrast, the physical activity environment was positively associated with leisure activity among only urban adults. Findings suggest that some tailoring of physical activity promotion strategies targeting the environment may be required for urban and rural midolder aged adults.