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Ethn Dis. 2005 Winter;15(1):40-52.

Racial/ethnic disparity and predictors of leisure-time physical activity among U.S. men.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Meharry Medical College, 1005 D. B. Todd Blvd, Nashville, TN 37208, USA. nahmed@mmc.edu



To examine racial/ethnic disparity in and predictors of leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) among men.


We used the National Health Interview Surveys (NHIS) 1999-2000 data, a multistage probability sampling design producing a U.S. representative sample of 23,459 adult males. Data were analyzed using multinomial logistic regression.


The likelihood of engaging in irregular or regular LTPA was associated with younger age, being unmarried, lower household sizes, higher levels of education and income, home ownership, U.S. citizenship, perceived better health status, contact with a health professional within a year, being a non-smoker, living in the West, and residing in a midsize metropolitan statistical area. Hispanics were significantly less likely to engage in regular LTPA than Whites and higher percentages of Hispanics were physically inactive in almost all age and education groups when compared to other races. Disparity between Whites and Blacks was less pronounced. Non-citizen Hispanics were twice as likely to be inactive than citizens and White non-citizens were 40% more likely to be inactive than citizens. Conversely, Black citizens were 20% more likely to be inactive than non-citizens.


Racial/ethnic disparities exist after accounting for socio-demographic characteristics. Not being a citizen exacerbates the disparity between Hispanic and White men. While disparity did exist between Black and White men, this gap was not as large as between Hispanic and White men. Health-seeking behaviors, such as contact with a health professional and non-smoking status are modifiable and influence men of all racial and ethnic backgrounds to engage in LTPA.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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