Physical activity patterns among Somali adolescents in Minnesota

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6 Scopus citations


Background: Little is known about the physical activity patterns of Somali adolescents. This study compared time spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and participation in specific physical activities among Somali, other Non-Hispanic black and white adolescents. Methods: A subsample of 1,268 adolescents (mean age= 14.6) who completed surveys as part of the EAT 2010 (Eating and Activity in Teens) study was included in analyses. Gender-stratified linear and logistic regressions, controlling for body mass index and demographic characteristics, were conducted to estimate mean weekly hours of self-reported MVPA and mean weekly hours and prevalence of engagement in each of 26 physical activities assessed by ethnic/racial group. Results: Somali girls had lower mean MVPA hours than their peers; however, no differences were found for Somali boys. Involvement in most activities was similar for Somali and other groups, but some differences were observed. For example, Somali youth were more likely to play soccer than their same-sex other black peers (boys: 52.4% vs. 20.4%; girls: 34.6% vs. 14.6%; P < .05). Somali girls also engaged in more hours per week of soccer than their black or white peers. Conclusions: Activities for which Somali youth indicated higher involvement may be particularly relevant for culturally-tailored physical activity programming.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1320-1326
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physical Activity and Health
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2015

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© 2015 Human Kinetics, Inc.


  • Health disparities
  • Health promotion


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