Do physical activity levels differ by number of children at home in women aged 25 and 44 in the general population?




Hartos, Jessica
Abell, Laura P.
Tanase, Kelly
Gilmore, Madison
Winnicki, Anna
Holmes, Victor L.


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Purpose: While physical activity is important for health, many women do not meet recommended levels, particularly mothers. The purpose of this study was to assess whether physical activity levels differ by number of children at home in women aged 25and44 in the general US population. Methods: This cross-sectional analysis used 2017 BRFSS data for females aged 25and44 (N = 6266) from California, Colorado, New York, Texas, and Utah. Ordered logistic regression analysis assessed the relationship between physical activity levels and number of children at home while controlling for state and demographic, socioeconomic, and health-related factors. Results: About half of participants reported insufficient physical activity and about two-thirds reported children at home. Results of adjusted analysis indicated that physical activity level was significantly related to having one child (AOR = 0.75, 95% CI = 0.63, 0.89), two children (AOR = 0.79; 95% CI = 0.67, 0.93), and three or more children (AOR = 0.80, 95% CI = 0.67, 0.94) at home. Overall, physical activity levels were significantly related to presence of children at home, but increasing number of children at home did not impact effect size. Conclusions: For women aged 25and44 in a primary care setting, a moderate prevalence of insufficient physical activity may be expected. Providers should address physical activity with all patients in this target population during well-visits, especially those with children; educate patients about the benefits of regular physical activity; and provide resources to help them integrate physical activity into their daily lifestyles.