Estimation of physical activity and prevalence of excessive body mass in rural and urban Polish adolescents
More details
Hide details
Department of Internal Medicine, Metabolic Disorders and Arterial Hypertension, University of Medical Sciences, Poznań, Poland
Department of Social Medicine, University of Medical Sciences, Poznań, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2011;18(2):398-403
Excessive body mass and sedentary lifestyle are well-known factors for cardiovascular risk, which when present in the young population may have significant health consequences, both in the short- and long-term. The aim of the study was to evaluate the prevalence of overweight, obesity, and sedentary lifestyle in two teenage populations living in an urban or rural area. An additional aim was to compare their physical activity. The study was designed and conducted in 2009. The study population consisted of 116 students aged 15-17 years – 61 males (52.7%) and 55 females (47.3%), randomly selected from public junior grammar schools and secondary schools in the Poznań Region. There were 61 respondents from a rural area – 32 males (52.5%) and 29 females (47.5%), whereas 55 teenagers lived in an urban area – 29 males (47.5%) and 26 females (47.3%). Students were asked to complete a questionnaire, which was especially prepared for the study and contained questions concerning health and lifestyle. A basic physical examination was carried out in all 116 students, including measurements of the anthropometric features. Calculations were performed using the statistical package STATISTICA (data analysis software system), Version. 8.0. When comparing these two populations, no statistically significant differences were detected in the ratio of weight-growth, with the exception of the fact that the urban youths had a larger hip circumference (97.1 v. 94.3 cm, p<0.05). In the group of urban students there were also significantly more subjects with excessive body weight (27.3% v. 24.6%, p<0.05), with a predominant proportion of obese students (60%). There were significantly more male obese individuals (66.7%). In the population of rural teenagers, obesity rate did not differ statistically significantly from the percentage of overweight (11.5% v. 13.1%, p>0.05), the problem of excessive weight affected both sexes in a similar proportion (25% boys and 24.1% girls, p>0.05). In this paper it is shown that there were differences concerning physical activity of teenagers living in urban and rural areas. Urban students much more often declared an active lifestyle (72.7% v.42.6%, p>0.05), used a variety of additional forms of activity (not counting compulsory physical education classes). They also spent many more hours a week performing sport (7.0±4.2 h v. 4.9±4.1h, p<0.05), and less hours spent passively on ‘screen viewing behaviour’ (2.3±1.5h v. 3.1±1.5h, p<0.05). About 52.5% of rural teenagers replied that compulsory physical education classes were their only form of physical activity. No statistically significant differences between urban and rural population were detected in the ratio of weight-growth, with the exception of the fact that urban youths had a larger hip circumference. In the group of urban teenagers, there were significantly more subjects with excessive body weight, with a predominant proportion of obese students. However, urban students much more often declared an active lifestyle and spent many more hours a week performing sport. Their declared time for ‘screen viewing behaviour’ was shorter. These observations describing Polish teenagers are consistent with some literature data, but more studies are needed to clarify the influence of environmental conditions, such as ‘urban-rural’ differences in the health and lifestyle of the young population.
Parks SE, Housemann RA, Brownson RC: Diff erential correlates of physical activity in urban and rural adults of various socioeconomic backgrounds in the United States. J Epidemiol Commun Health 2003, 57(1), 29-35.
Patterson PD, Moore CG, Probst JC et al.: Obesity and physical inactivity in rural America. J Rural Health 2004, 20(2), 151-159.
Martin SL, Kirkner GJ, Mayo K et al.: Urban, rural, and regional variations in physical activity. J Rural Health 2005, 21(3), 239-244.
Liu J, Bennett KJ, Harun N et al.: Urban-rural diff erences in overweight status and physical inactivity among US children aged 10-17 years. J Rural Health 2008, 24(4), 407-415.
Bruner MW, Lawson J, Pickett W et al.: Rural Canadian adolescents are more likely to be obese compared with urban adolescents. Int J Pediatr Obes 2008, 3(4), 205-211.
Booth ML, Okely AD, Chey T et al.: Epidemiology of physical activity participation among New South Wales school students. Aust N Z J Public Health 2002, 26(4), 371-374.
Hodgkin E, Hamlin MJ, Ross JJ et al.: Obesity, energy intake and physical activity in rural and urban New Zealand children. Rural Remote Health 2010, 10(2), 1336.
Graham D, Reed P, Ayers K et al.: Project Energize. Happy healthy children of all shapes and sizes. Waikato District Health Board, Hamilton 2008.
Palczewska I, Niedźwiedzka Z: Siatki centylowe do oceny rozwoju somatycznego dzieci i młodzieży. Zakład Rozwoju Dzieci i Młodzieży Instytutu Matki i Dziecka, Warsaw 1999.
Wang Y, Monteiro C, Popkins BM: Trends of obesity and underweight in older children and adolescents in the United States, Brazil, China and Russia. Am J Clin Nut 2002, 75(6), 971-977.
Ozdirenc M, Ozcan A, Akin F et al.: Physical fi tness in rural children compared with urban children in Turkey. Pediatr Int 2005, 47(1), 26- 31.
McMurray RG, Harrell JS, Bangdiwala SI et al.: Cardiovascular disease risk factors and obesity of rural and urban elementary school children. J Rural Health 1999, 15(4), 365-374.
Lewis RD, Meyer MC, Lehman SC et al.: Prevalence and degree of childhood and adolescent overweight in rural, urban, and suburban Georgia. J Sch Health 2006, 76(4), 126-132.
Borders TF, Rohrer JE, Cardarelli KM: Gender-specifi c disparities in obesity. J Commun Health 2006, 31(1), 57-68.
Jackson JE, Doescher MP, Jerant AF et al.: A national study of obesity prevalence and trends by type of rural county. J Rural Health 2005, 21(2), 140-148.
Kettle SM, Roebotha BV, West R: Prevalence of specifi c cardiovascular disease risk factors in young Newfoundland and Labrador adults living in urban and rural communities. Canad J Rural Med 2005, 10(2), 81- 85.
Woodward DR, Cumming FJ, Ball PJ et al.: Urban-rural diff erences in dietery habits and infl uences among Australian adolescents. Ecol Food and Nutrit 2000, 39(4), 271-292.
Kristjansdottir G, Vilhjalmsson R: Sociodemographic diff erences in patterns of sedentary and physically active behavior in older children and adolescents. Acta Paediatr 2001, 90(4), 429-435.
Proctor MH, Moore LL, Singer MR et al.: Risk profi les for noncommunicable diseases in rural and urban schoolchildren in the Republic of Cameroon. Ethn Dis 1996, 6(3-4), 235-243.
Potvin L, Gauvin L, Nguyen NM: Prevalence of stages of change for physical activity in rural, suburban and inner-city communities. J Commun Health 1997, 22(1), 1-13.
Loucaides CA, Chedzoy SM, Bennett N: Diff erences in physical activity levels between urban and rural school children in Cyprus. Health Educ Res 2004, 19(2), 138-147.
Journals System - logo
Scroll to top