Physical activity patterns in Greenland: a country in transition

24 Citationer (Scopus)


AIMS: To examine differences in physical activity patterns among Inuit in Greenland in relation to social transition. The Inuit in Greenland are an indigenous population in the circumpolar north who are experiencing rapid social transition.

METHODS: Physical activity patterns were assessed by the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (long version). The population was divided into six groups according to different stages of social change, measured on the basis of education, current residence and occupation. Data were collected in a country-wide cross-sectional population survey among adult Inuit in Greenland from 2005 to 2009.

RESULTS: Men with long vocational or academic education living in towns (latest stage of social change) spent significantly less time on occupational physical activity (p = 0.001) compared with hunters and fishermen in villages (earliest stage of social change) (trend test p = 0.01). Women in the latest stage of change spent significantly less time on domestic physical activity (p < 0.001) (trend test p = 0.06) compared with women in the earliest stage of social change. This was also found for physical activity during transportation (p = 0.02 and p = 0.01 for men and women, respectively). No significant difference was found for leisure time physical activity. Men and women in the latest stage of social change spent more time on sedentary activity (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: Differences in physical activity patterns among Inuit in Greenland included decreasing time spent on domestic and occupational physical activity and increasing time spent on sedentary activities along with social change. Knowledge of changes in physical activity patterns in relation to social transition is important in prevention of obesity, type 2 diabetes and lifestyle diseases.

TidsskriftScandinavian Journal of Public Health
Udgave nummer7
Sider (fra-til)678-86
Antal sider9
StatusUdgivet - nov. 2011
Udgivet eksterntJa


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