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Differing lifecourse associations with sport-, occupational- and household-based physical activity at age 49-51 years: the Newcastle Thousand Families Study

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Kay Mann, Dr Louise HayesORCiD, Dr Laura BasterfieldORCiD, Professor Louise Parker, Professor Mark PearceORCiD


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We investigated the contributions of a range of factors from across life to variations in physical activity within the Newcastle Thousand Family's birth cohort. At age 49-51 years, 574 study members returned questionnaires, including details of physical activity (occupational, commuting, household and sport). Factor analysis of activity types produced two retained factor scores, 'sport' and 'other physical activity', analysed by path analysis. More advantaged current social class, higher education level and not smoking were associated with increased sport activity, but not 'other physical activity'. Males had higher levels of occupational and lower levels of household activity than females. Smokers had increased work activity. Long-term illness was associated with lower activity across all types. Current social class and smoking showed the highest relative contribution for 'sport' and long-term illness for 'other physical activity'. Increasing activity in adults requires better understanding what the barriers to maintaining or taking on new levels of physical activity are, and long-term strategies and public health interventions need to be developed to engage adults in interesting, affordable and available activities.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Mann KD, Hayes L, Basterfield L, Parker L, Pearce MS

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal of Public Health

Year: 2013

Volume: 58

Issue: 1

Pages: 79-88

Print publication date: 03/08/2012

ISSN (print): 1661-8556

ISSN (electronic): 1661-8564

Publisher: Birkhaeuser Verlag AG


DOI: 10.1007/s00038-012-0392-7


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