Higher earners may have more resources to boost activity levels than lower-income people, but that doesn’t make the better-off less sedentary, says a recent study.
In this study, published in Preventive Medicine (2017; 103, 91–97), researchers compared the activity levels of subjects with an annual income of $20,000 to those of people making $75,000 per year or more. The 5,206 subjects wore accelerometers for a week. The main variables were household income and amount and intensity of physical activity. Here’s what the scientists found:
- Higher earners engaged in 4.6 more minutes of moderate to vigorous activity daily compared with those in the $20K bracket. Lower earners spent 9.3 more minutes each day engaged in light activity.
- The $75K+ group was 1.6 and 1.9 times more likely than the lower-income group to meet 2-day and 7-day activity guidelines, respectively.
- The low-income group spent 11.8 fewer daily minutes being sedentary than the higher-income group.
- Higher-income individuals were more likely to be “weekend warriors.”
“In conclusion, higher annual household income is related to more intense, less frequent (per week) patterns of physical activity and more daily sedentary time,” the authors concluded.