Format

Send to

Choose Destination
J Rural Health. 2008 Winter;24(1):49-54. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-0361.2008.00136.x.

Rural-urban differences in physical activity, physical fitness, and overweight prevalence of children.

Author information

1
Des Moines University Master of Public Health Program, Des Moines University-Osteopathic Medical Center, Des Moines, Iowa 50312, USA. rjoens-m@dmu.edu

Abstract

CONTEXT:

The increasing prevalence of overweight in youth has been well chronicled, but less is known about the unique patterns and risks that may exist in rural and urban environments. A better understanding of possible rural-urban differences in physical activity profiles may facilitate the development of more targeted physical activity interventions.

METHODS:

Participants (1,687 boys; 1,729 girls) were recruited from fourth, fifth, and sixth grade classes in schools from urban areas, small cities, and rural areas. Multilevel modeling analysis was used to examine rural-urban differences in physical activity and prevalence of overweight. Physical activity was assessed by self-report and body mass index was calculated from measured height and weight.

FINDINGS:

Prevalence of overweight was higher among rural children (25%; P<.001) than children from urban areas (19%) and small cities (17%). Urban children were the least active overall (Cohens' d=-0.4), particularly around lunchtime while at school (d=-0.9 to -1.1). Children from small cities reported the highest levels of physical activity.

CONCLUSIONS:

The results of this study suggest there are rural-urban differences in children's prevalence of overweight and physical activity even within a fairly homogenous Midwestern state.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center