The Relationship between Socio-economic Factors and Physical Fitness Variables among Korean Adults

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Eun-Ju Choi, PhD
Byoung-Wook Yoo, PhD
Wi-Young So, PhD
Seyong Jang, PhD



BACKGROUND: The relationship between socioeconomic status and physical fitness level is unclear. Therefore, this study examined the relationship between socio-economic factors and physical fitness among Korean adults.

PARTICIPANTS: A retrospective analysis of the physical fitness and demographic data extracted from the 2013 National Fitness Award project conducted in Korea. The data from 1690 men and 1982 women, 19- to 64-years-old, were included. Sampling strategy, using 14 clusters and stratification levels, ensured a national representation of the Republic of Korea. The following physical fitness variables were included in the analysis: time on the 50 m dash, repetitions of shuttle run, distance of standing long jump, distance of sit-and-reach, number of sit-ups in 1 min, and grip strength. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to examine whether physical fitness levels were related to occupation (active, non-active and other), household income (divided into quartiles) and location of residence (rural or urban), adjusting for age and sex.

RESULTS: Participants with active occupations had higher fitness levels than those with non-active and other occupations. As the household income increased, the fitness levels also tended to increase. Participants living in a small city had higher fitness levels than those living in a large city, except on the 50 m dash run.

CONCLUSIONS: Physical fitness variables could be affected by socioeconomic status.

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