Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Unlike less educated people, college grads more active on weekends than weekdays

Date:
August 19, 2014
Source:
American Sociological Association (ASA)
Summary:
People’s educational attainment influences their level of physical activity both during the week and on weekends, according to a new study.

People's educational attainment influences their level of physical activity both during the week and on weekends, according to a study whose authors include two University of Kansas researchers.

Related Articles


The study finds that, on average, those with a college degree are more active on Saturdays and Sundays than on a typical weekday -- whereas for people without a high school degree, the opposite is true.

"Educational attainment predicts physical activity differently on weekends and weekdays," said Jarron M. Saint Onge, a KU assistant professor of sociology and the study's lead author. "Importantly, we focus not simply on total time people are engaged in recommended levels of physical activity, but the quality of the activity by focusing on the average levels of activity intensity per minute by day. An understanding of the factors that reduce time spent in low intensity or sedentary behaviors can inform activity intervention measures and could potentially reduce socioeconomic status differences in preventable morbidity and mortality."

While work is a frequently cited barrier to exercise, the study finds evidence of a more complex relationship. For example, those who take more steps (as measured by an accelerometer) during the week -- presumably at work -- are less likely to be active on weekends.

Saint Onge and co-authors Kyle Chapman, a KU doctoral candidate in sociology, and Patrick M. Krueger, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Colorado-Denver, will present their findings at the the 109th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association.

The researchers examined accelerometer data from the 2005-06 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), which measures how many steps U.S. adults take per day and the intensity of those steps. By focusing on intensity, researchers can determine the amount of time an individual spends in various activity categories such as sedentary, moderate, or vigorous activity.

Chapman said even when he and his co-authors controlled for several factors, such as income disparities and whether or not individuals mostly sit or stand at work, they still found that educational attainment was associated with people's patterns of physical activity throughout the week.

"Education affects people both at the individual level and at their social level," Chapman said. "Physical activity is encouraged or discouraged in different groups."

On weekdays, the study found that people with a college degree spend an average of 8.72 hours a day in sedentary activity, compared to 7.48 hours for a person without a high school degree.

According to Chapman, these patterns were unsurprising considering past research has found that less-educated groups of people typically spend more time engaged in occupational physical activity at their jobs during the week. That occupational activity, however, may take place at low energy thresholds, include repetitive motions, and may have potentially negative health consequences.

On weekends, a person with a college degree spends an average of 8.12 hours a day in sedentary activity -- less than during the week. On the other hand, a person without a high school degree actually spends more time in sedentary activity -- 7.86 hours per day -- than they do during the week.

Chapman said the study's findings could be useful in developing targeted public health initiatives related to physical activity based on a person's educational attainment.

"You have to be flexible. We have to give people different ideas," Chapman said. "We have to have discussions on what works for some and what works for others."

A grant from the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health supported this research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Sociological Association (ASA). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Sociological Association (ASA). "Unlike less educated people, college grads more active on weekends than weekdays." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140819082914.htm>.
American Sociological Association (ASA). (2014, August 19). Unlike less educated people, college grads more active on weekends than weekdays. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140819082914.htm
American Sociological Association (ASA). "Unlike less educated people, college grads more active on weekends than weekdays." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140819082914.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

NY Gov. on Flood Prep: 'prepared for the Worst'

NY Gov. on Flood Prep: 'prepared for the Worst'

AP (Nov. 23, 2014) First came the big storm. Now comes the big melt for residents of flood-prone areas around Buffalo. New York's governor says officials are preparing for the worst as the temperature is expected to rise and potentially melt several feet of snow. (Nov. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
European Parliament Might Call For Google's Break-Up

European Parliament Might Call For Google's Break-Up

Newsy (Nov. 22, 2014) This is the latest development in an antitrust investigation accusing Google of unfairly prioritizing own products and services in search results. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Toyota's Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Green Car Soon Available in the US

Toyota's Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Green Car Soon Available in the US

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Toyota presented its hydrogen fuel-cell compact car called "Mirai" to US consumers at the Los Angeles auto show. The car should go on sale in 2015 for around $60.000. It combines stored hydrogen with oxygen to generate its own power. Duration: 01:18 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

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