Physical inactivity and television-viewing time among Aboriginal adults with asthma: a cross-sectional analysis of the Aboriginal Peoples Survey

N Doggett, S Dogra
Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention in Canada 2015, 35 (3): 54-61

INTRODUCTION: The purpose of this analysis was to (1) determine the association between asthma and physical activity levels or sedentary time among Aboriginal adults, and (2) understand the influence of physical inactivity and sedentary time on health care use among Aboriginal adults with asthma.

METHODS: We analyzed 20 953 adults from the 2006 Aboriginal Peoples Survey. Those with self-reported physician-diagnosed asthma and a current prescription for asthma medication were considered to have current asthma. Insufficient physical activity was defined as < 3 hours/week of moderate to vigorous physical activity; high television screen time was defined as > 10 hours/week. Health care use was assessed using the number of health professional visits and overnight hospital stays.

RESULTS: Aboriginal adults with asthma were more likely to report high television-viewing time (OR = 1.16; CI: 1.11-1.22) and insufficient physical activity (OR = 1.15; CI: 1.10-1.20) than those without asthma. Those with asthma who reported high television-viewing time reported more health professional consults in the past 12 months (OR = 2.59; CI: 2.34-2.87), more overnight stays in hospital in the past year (OR = 1.95; CI: 1.82-2.08) and more overnight stays in the hospital in the past 5 years (OR = 1.13; CI: 1.07-1.18); results were less consistent for physical activity and health care use.

CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that Aboriginal adults with asthma are less active than their peers without asthma and that such a lifestyle may be associated with higher health care use. These findings have implications for physical activity promotion and sedentary behaviour strategies targeting Aboriginal adults with asthma.

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