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Ethn Health. 2018 Aug;23(6):629-648. doi: 10.1080/13557858.2017.1294655. Epub 2017 Feb 28.

The correlates of physical activity among adult Métis.

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a School of Public Health and Health Systems , University of Waterloo , Waterloo , Canada.
b School of Public Health and Health Systems & Department of Sociology and Legal Studies , University of Waterloo , Waterloo , Canada.
c Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics , The University of Western Ontario , London , Canada.



Métis, with a population of close to 390,000 people, are a culturally distinct and constitutionally recognized Aboriginal group in Canada that suffers from poorer overall health than non-Aboriginal Canadians. One important predictor of good health is physical activity. Guided by frameworks based on social and Aboriginal-specific determinants, we investigated the correlates of leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) and active transportation (walking) among adult Métis, with a particular focus on how culturally specific variables were associated with these two types of activity. We also examined how demographic, geographic, socioeconomic and health-related factors were associated with physical activity.


We used data from Statistics Canada's 2006 Aboriginal Peoples Survey and Métis Supplement to analyze the correlates of physical activity among Métis aged 20-64, using a series of logistic regression models.


Having attended a Métis cultural event in the past year was positively associated with LTPA, as was a high level of spirituality. Similarly, those who had attended a cultural event in the last year were more likely to report a high level of active transportation. Speaking an Aboriginal language and being a member of a Métis organization were not independently associated with the two types of physical activity. Self-perceived health, being male and household income were other correlates positively associated with LTPA, whereas age, body mass index and smoking were negatively associated with this type of activity. Active transportation was positively associated with self-perceived health and being female, while negatively associated with age and body mass index.


The results of this study suggest that interventions aimed at increasing physical activity among adult Métis might be more successful if they are connected to cultural activities and spirituality. This research also suggests that demographic, socioeconomic and health-related factors are important considerations when designing initiatives to increase physical activity among adult Métis.


Aboriginal-specific; Indigenous; Métis; active transportation; exercise; leisure-time physical activity; physical activity; social determinants of health

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