Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 484–488 | Cite as

Length of Residence and Vehicle Ownership in Relation to Physical Activity Among U.S. Immigrants

  • Dale Terasaki
  • India Ornelas
  • Brian Saelens
Brief Communication


Physical activity among U.S. immigrants over time is not well understood. Transportation may affect this trajectory. Using a survey of documented immigrants (N = 7240), we performed simple, then multivariable logistic regression to calculate ORs and 95 % CIs between length of residence (LOR) and both light-to-moderate (LPA) and vigorous (VPA) activity. We adjusted for demographic variables, then vehicle ownership to assess changes in ORs. Compared to new arrivals, all four LOR time-intervals were associated with lower odds of LPA and higher odds of VPA in simple analysis. All ORs for LPA remained significant after including demographics, but only one remained significant after adding vehicle ownership. Two ORs for VPA remained significant after including demographics and after adding vehicle ownership. Immigrants lower their light-to-moderate activity the longer they reside in the U.S., partly from substituting driving for walking. Efforts to maintain walking for transportation among immigrants are warranted.


Immigrants Physical activity Length of residence Transportation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Health ServicesUniversity of Washington School of Public HealthSeattleUSA

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