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Ethnic Disparities in Physical Activity among Adolescents in Israel

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Objectives: In this study, we examined physical activity (PA) levels among Jewish and Arab adolescents in Israel, as well as factors associated with PA. We used a socio-ecological framework to understand differences in levels of PA across ethnic groups and the factors associated with these differences. Methods: We used data based on the Israeli population as reported in the 2014-15 Health Behavior of School-Aged Children standardized survey, which studied 16,145 Israeli adolescents. Levels of PA, as well as parent, sibling, and peer engagement in PA, in-school PA breaks, and liking PA were measured across ethnic groups and sex. Results: Jewish adolescents reported higher levels of PA. Girls were significantly less physically active than boys in both ethnicities. In addition, we found that family, peer, and school related factors were positively associated with levels of PA. Conclusions: Our findings show a disparity in PA levels by ethnicity among Israel adolescents, which can lead to health disparities. We propose targeted interventions involving the factors affecting PA to reduce health disparities.
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Keywords: ADOLESCENTS; ETHNICITY; PHYSICAL ACTIVITY; SEX; SOCIO-ECOLOGICAL MODEL

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Health Systems Management, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ariel University, Ariel, Israel;, Email: [email protected] 2: The Interna- tional Research Program on Adolescent Well-Being & Health, School of Education, Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel 3: Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland 4: Department of Health Systems Management, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ariel University, Ariel, Israel 5: Department of Criminology, Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel 6: School of Public Health, Faculty of Welfare and Health Sciences, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel 7: The International Research Program on Adolescent Well-Being & Health, School of Education, Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel

Publication date: March 1, 2019

More about this publication?
  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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