Study: Higher income people are more physically active

Higher income is associated with more efficient, weekend warrior behavior and more sedentary the rest of the time.
By Amy Wallace  |  Aug. 11, 2017 at 11:14 AM
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Aug. 11 (UPI) -- A study by the American Cancer Society found that higher income individuals are more likely to be weekend warriors exercising just a few days a week.

The study, published Aug. 10 in Preventive Medicine, was a collaboration between the American Cancer Society, the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and Georgia State University.

Researchers used accelerometer data to analyze physical activity and sedentary behavior in 5,206 U.S. adults of varying income levels enrolled in The National Health and Examination Survey from 2003 to 2006.

The study revealed that individuals making $75,000 a year or more had 4.6 additional daily minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity compared to those making less than $20,000 a year.

Individuals with higher incomes engaged in 9.3 fewer minutes of light intensity activity, spent 11.8 more minutes a day sedentary, were 1.6 times more likely to meet guidelines for a weekend warrior and were 1.9 times more likely to meet guidelines for physical activity during a seven-day period.

"Our findings pertaining to income and the 'weekend warrior' effect underscore the importance of tailoring the physical activity message to reflect the constraints of both low and high income individuals," Dr. Kerem Shuval, of the American Cancer Society, said in a press release.

"To meet guidelines one can engage in 150 minutes of weekly moderate intensity activity over a 2- or 3-day period rather than 7 days, for example. This can be achieved over a long weekend, a message we may want to convey to those pressed for time. It is important to remember, however, that we should increase the duration and intensity of activity gradually to avoid injury. Also, if inactive consult with a physician before embarking on an exercise program."

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