Likelihood of meeting physical activity guidelines in rural and urban adults: cross-sectional analysis of the Canadian Community Health Survey

Abstract

Objectives

The goal of this study was to compare the odds of meeting physical activity (PA) guidelines among adults living in rural and urban areas of Canada.

Methods

Data from the 2017 cycle of the Canadian Community Health Survey were analyzed using binomial logistic regression with a sample of 47,266 adults representing a survey-weighted total of 25,669,018. The odds of meeting PA guidelines were determined based on self-reported moderate-to-vigorous PA (<150 min per week or ≥150 min per week). Communities were categorized as urban or rural based on population size and density. Individual-level correlates included in the model were self-identified sex, age, body mass index, highest level of education, household income, perceived health, and sense of belonging to community.

Results

Approximately 56.6% of rural and 59.3% of urban adults reported meeting recommended PA levels when location was examined as a sole predictor. The best-fit model adjusted for all individual-level factors showed a significant sex × location interaction. Males in rural communities were more likely to report meeting PA guidelines (odds = 0.90 or 47.4%) than males in urban areas (odds = 0.78 or 43.8%), whereas females living in rural communities (odds = 0.58 or 36.7%) were less likely to report meeting PA guidelines than females in urban areas (odds = 0.65 or 39.4%).

Conclusion

The association between rural-urban residence and meeting PA guidelines appears to be contingent on self-identified sex differences. Future work should explore how gender- and location-related variables interact to influence self-reported PA engagement.

Résumé

Objectifs

Le but de cette étude était de comparer les probabilités de respecter les recommandations en matière d’activité physique (AP) liées à la santé de la population chez les adultes vivant dans les communautés rurales et urbaines du Canada.

Méthodes

Les données du cycle 2017 de l’Enquête sur la santé dans les collectivités canadiennes ont été analysées à l’aide de régressions logistiques binomiales avec un échantillon pondéré de 47 266 participants adultes représentant 25 669 018 adultes. Les probabilités de respecter les lignes directrices de l’AP ont été déterminées en fonction de l’AP modérée à vigoureuse déclarée (<150 minutes par semaine ou ≥150 minutes par semaine) et les communautés ont été classées comme urbaines ou rurales selon la taille et la densité de la population. Les corrélats au niveau individuel inclus dans le modèle étaient les suivants : sexe auto-identifié, âge, indice de masse corporelle, niveau de scolarité le plus élevé, revenu du ménage, état de santé autoévalué et sentiment d’appartenance à la communauté.

Résultats

Environ 56,6 % des adultes vivant en milieu rural et 59,3 % des adultes en milieu urbain ont déclaré avoir atteint les niveaux d’AP recommandés lorsque l’emplacement a été examiné comme seul prédicteur de l’activité. Le meilleur modèle après ajustement pour tous les facteurs au niveau individuel a révélé une interaction significative entre les variables sexe x emplacement. Les hommes des communautés rurales étaient plus susceptibles de déclarer respecter les directives d’AP (odds = 0,90 ou 47,4 %) que ceux des zones urbaines (odds = 0,78 ou 43,8 %), tandis que les femmes vivant dans les communautés rurales (odds = 0,58 ou 36,7 %) étaient moins susceptibles de déclarer avoir respecté les directives d’AP par rapport à celles des communautés urbaines (odds = 0,65 ou 39,4 %).

Conclusion

L’association entre la ruralité d’une communauté et la déclaration des AP semble dépendre des différences sexuelles auto-identifiées. Les travaux futurs devraient explorer comment les variables liées au sexe et au lieu interagissent pour influencer la participation rapportée des Canadiens aux taux AP rapportés.

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Fig. 1

Data availability

Access to these data is through Statistics Canada.

Notes

  1. 1.

    Note that the optimal fitted regression model is anchored to activity in the winter season (data collection period January–March), accounting for the generally lower rates of physical activity participation in the final fitted model in comparison with the base model.

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Code availability

The syntax used in this analysis may be available upon reasonable request.

Funding

This study was funded by a Research Data Centre award from the University of Northern British Columbia.

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All the authors were involved in conception and design of the study. Statistical analysis was completed by NW. CP led the preparation of the manuscript, which was reviewed by all authors.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Chelsea A. Pelletier.

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Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) data were obtained through the Research Data Centre at the University of Northern British Columbia according to guidelines established by Statistics Canada.

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All participants who complete the Canadian Community Health Survey provide informed consent.

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Not applicable.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Pelletier, C.A., White, N., Duchesne, A. et al. Likelihood of meeting physical activity guidelines in rural and urban adults: cross-sectional analysis of the Canadian Community Health Survey. Can J Public Health 112, 748–757 (2021). https://doi.org/10.17269/s41997-021-00507-6

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Keywords

  • Rural health
  • Exercise
  • Physical activity
  • Built environment
  • Urban health
  • Logistic models

Mots-clés

  • Santé rurale
  • exercice
  • activité physique
  • environnement bâti
  • santé urbaine
  • modèles logistiques