Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study points to health disparities in physical fitness

Date:
June 4, 2011
Source:
Indiana University
Summary:
A recent study found surprising differences in physical fitness levels between more affluent members of a medically affiliated fitness center and patients of a safety net community health center, which serves more vulnerable populations.

An Indiana University study examining disparities in physical fitness levels between older adults who are patients of safety net community health centers (CHC) and those who are members of a medically affiliated fitness center is producing stunning results.

NiCole Keith, associate professor in the Department of Physical Education at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, said she expected the study to show similar physical fitness levels between the two groups. The findings, however, show that the fitness center participants performed significantly better on each of the measures when compared to the CHC particpants.

The community health centers serve vulnerable populations, including those without health insurance; the medically affiliated fitness centers serve a more affluent population. Otherwise, the age and health literacy of study participants in both groups were the same.

Further, the members of the medically affiliated fitness center were not exercising at the facility every week, much less every day. Generally, these fitness center members had sedentary jobs. Patients at the CHC who were employed spent a lot of time on their feet and moving about.

"I expected their physical fitness levels wouldn't be different, but they are so different that it is startling," Keith said. "Seven indicators of physical fitness were tested, and members of the medically affiliated fitness center scored higher than the CHC patients in every category."

Keith discussed "Disparities in Physical Fitness Between Fitness Center and Safety Net Community Health Center Members" June 4 at the American College of Sports Medicine meeting in Denver.

The overriding difference between the two groups of study participants is access to opportunities to exercise, Keith said. For patients at the CHC, there is generally no place for them to exercise. The cost of joining a fitness center is prohibitive for these patients, she added.

What is of great concern, Keith said, is that low levels of physical fitness are strongly related to negative health outcomes, including increased morbidity and mortality. The distinct differences among physical fitness levels between CHC patients and members of the medically affiliated fitness center demonstrate the clear need to identify low-cost and accessible means for vulnerable populations to improve their physical fitness levels, she said.

Access to health care for all populations is important, Keith said, but it is not enough if it doesn't include opportunities to exercise.

More about the study:

  • The study began in May 2010 and is expected to be completed in December 2011. To date, 150 subjects have been tested for physical fitness.
  • Subjects who expressed interest in learning more about their physical fitness were invited to participate. Each subject completed the Rikili and Jones Senior Fitness Test, which includes functional assessments of lower body endurance, upper body endurance, aerobic endurance, lower body flexibility, right and left upper body flexibility, and percent body fat.

Coauthors of the study include Anthony S. Kaleth and Kyle McIlrath, IUPUI.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Indiana University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Indiana University. "Study points to health disparities in physical fitness." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110604181909.htm>.
Indiana University. (2011, June 4). Study points to health disparities in physical fitness. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110604181909.htm
Indiana University. "Study points to health disparities in physical fitness." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110604181909.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Researchers are puzzled as to why obesity rates remain relatively stable as average waistlines continue to expand. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Calling the Ebola outbreak in West Africa a potential threat to global security, President Barack Obama is ordering 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the stricken region amid worries that the outbreak is spiraling out of control. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: 20,000 Could Be Infected With Ebola by Year End

UN: 20,000 Could Be Infected With Ebola by Year End

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Nearly $1.0 billion dollars is needed to fight the Ebola outbreak raging in west Africa, the United Nations say, warning that 20,000 could be infected by year end. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins