University of Oulu

Personal economic success and leisure time physical activity

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Author: Junttila, Hanna1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Oulu Business School, Department of Economics, Economics
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Oulu : H. Junttila, 2017
Publish Date: 2017-11-29
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Korhonen, Marko
Reviewer: Korhonen, Marko
Huikari, Sanna
There is strong scientific evidence that high level of physical activity enhances human health and well-being as well as the economy of the society. It is very important to understand the underlying factors affecting the individuals’ exercise decisions to be able to design effective mechanisms, interventions and incentives to increase daily physical activity. This empirical study examines the relationship between personal economic success, i.e. self-reported annual income and assets, and leisure time physical activity by using modified physical activity index, mPAI, self-reported frequencies of participation in light and brisk exercise and self-reported time used for light and brisk exercise. The study population consists of Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort members aged of 45–46 years (N = 7071, 3267 men, 3804 women). Ordinary least squares models are used to evaluate the associations between personal economic success and leisure time physical activity. The results indicate that individuals with higher income and assets seem to have higher physical activity, and women with highest and men with 2nd highest quartile of assets seem to use more time in brisk physical activity than others, but after adjusting with potential confounding factors higher self-reported income associates with higher physical activity measured by modified physical activity index, mPAI, in men (p=0.04), higher self-reported assets associates negatively with time used in light physical activity in men (p=0.008) and positively with frequency of brisk physical activity (p=0.04) and time spent in brisk physical activity (p=0.048) in women. Although the results demonstrate an association between income, assets and some physical activity outcomes, in overall, the magnitude of personal economic success in predicting physical activity is relatively modest (R2 = 0.004–0.15). Personal economic factors seem to have an important role in physical activity decisions. According to this study the impact of income and assets to physical activity seems to be gender specific. These underlying personal economic factors affecting the individuals’ exercise decisions need to be noted in aiming to design effective mechanisms and interventions for health promotion by increasing daily physical activity.
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Copyright information: © Hanna Junttila, 2017. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.