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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital

Participation in recreational activities varies with socioeconomic position and is associated with self-rated health and well-being

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Recreational activities may promote and maintain health and well-being, but empirical evidence is limited. The aim of this study was to explore socioeconomic variations in participation in recreational activities in the local community and to examine associations with health and well-being in the general population. Participants ≥ 16 years from the Danish Capital Region Health Survey, conducted in 2017 (N = 55,185, response rate 52.6%) were included. Participation in community-based recreational activities, self-rated health, quality of life, and health status was assessed by questionnaire. Socioeconomic variables (educational level, occupational and marital status) were obtained from national registers. Multiple logistic regression models were used to examine associations. Less than half of the population participated in community-based recreational activities. Individuals with a higher educational level were 55% more likely to participate in recreational activities compared to those with a lower educational level (OR = 1.55, CI:1.45–1.66). Individuals with a low educational level who participated in recreational activities, were more likely to have an excellent/good quality of life (OR = 2.03 (95% CI:1.86–2.21)) and an excellent/very good self-rated health (OR = 1.61 (95% CI:1.51–1.71)), than those who did not participate in recreational activities. Regardless of educational level, recreational activity participation was associated with better self-rated health and quality of life. Thus, to counter-balance social inequality in health, a focus on participation in recreational activities is important when planning community public health interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101610
JournalPreventive Medicine Reports
Pages (from-to)101610
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021

    Research areas

  • Community, Denmark, Mental health, Quality of life, Recreational activities, Self-rated health, Social inequality

ID: 69608202