Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 801–810 | Cite as

Leisure Time Physical Activity Levels in Immigrants by Ethnicity and Time Since Immigration to Canada: Findings from the 2011–2012 Canadian Community Health Survey

  • Bushra MahmoodEmail author
  • Junaid A. Bhatti
  • Angelica Leon
  • Carolyn Gotay
Original Paper


New immigrants to Canada are mostly from Asian/South Asian countries currently experiencing low levels of physical activity (PA) and high rates of overweight/obesity. Little is known about the leisure time PA (LTPA) patterns of recent immigrants. Study sample was extracted from Canadian Community Health Survey (2011–2012). Based on reported daily energy expenditure on LTPAs over past 3 months, participants were categorized as physically active, moderately active, and inactive. Likelihood of being physically inactive was estimated for recent immigrants versus established immigrants. Higher proportion of recent immigrants were inactive (60%) compared to established immigrants (53%). Adjusted models estimated a higher likelihood of inactivity among recent immigrants (OR 1.40, 95% CI 1.13, 1.72) versus established immigrants. Inactivity was higher among immigrants of visible minorities, 58.8 versus 46.7% of white immigrants. Recent immigrants of visible minorities are at higher risk of being inactive. This highlights importance of developing programs to increase PA in specific groups of new immigrants.


Exercise Physical activity Inactivity Immigrant Minorities 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

This was a secondary analysis of data provided by Stats Canada. All CCHS respondents provide informed consent for participation and the public use microdata-file (PUMF) made available by Statistics Canada was accessed in accordance with the University of British Columbia’s publicly available data clause (items 1.3.1 and 7.10) under policy number 89 which provides the ethical approval for the use of this data [31].


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Experimental Medicine, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  3. 3.School of Population and Public HealthUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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