Poster Open Access

Impact of early- and adult-life socioeconomic circumstances on physical inactivity

Cheval Boris; Mathieu Gourlan; Stefan Sieber; Matthieu Boisgontier; Delphine Courvoisier; Stéphane Cullati

Background: Physical inactivity has been identified as one of the major risk factors for mortality causing an estimated 3.2 million deaths in the world per year. To reduce mortality risk, adopting physical activity (PA) most days is considered a public health guideline for physical activity participation in adulthood. Here we assessed the predictive value of childhood socioeconomic position on the likelihood to reach the PA guidelines and examined whether adulthood socioeconomic position explains this association.

Methods: Data were retrieved from 18,467 (40,228 observations) adults aged 50 years and older across 12 European countries of the longitudinal and cross-national Survey of Health Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). The associations between childhood socioeconomic position (assessed using retrospective life course information) and the self-reported PA recommendations attainment were estimated using mixed effects logistic regression. Model was adjusted for potential confounders and for the mediating effects of education and main occupation class.

Findings: Participants born in the most disadvantaged (OR=1.18), disadvantaged (OR=1.29), and neutral (OR=1.16) childhood socioeconomic position had a greater odds of not reaching the PA recommendations, compared with participants born in the most advantaged socioeconomic position. The effect of the most disadvantaged childhood socioeconomic position strengthened with ageing (OR=1.02). Education attainment and, to a lesser extent, main occupation class, mediated 76% of these associations.

Discussion: These findings suggested that education and main occupation class largely explained the deleterious effect of childhood socioeconomic position on the odds of reaching the PA recommendations. Potential implications for public health policy will be outlined.

This work was supported by the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research "LIVES – Overcoming vulnerability: Life course perspectives", which is financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation (51NF40-160590). MB is supported by the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO). The authors are grateful to the Swiss National Science Foundation for financial assistance.
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