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Original article Trends in the effects of socioeconomic position on physical activity levels and sedentary behavior among Korean adolescents
Hunju Lee1,2orcid , Hyowon Choi1orcid , Sangbaek Koh1orcid , Hyeon Chang Kim3orcid
Epidemiol Health 2023;e2023085
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2023085 [Accepted]
Published online: September 8, 2023
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1Department of Preventive medicine, Wonju College of Medicine, Yonsei University, Wonju, Korea
2Department of Public Health, Yonsei University Graduate School, Seoul, Korea
3Department of Preventive Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
Corresponding author:  Hyeon Chang Kim,
Email: hckim@yuhs.ac
Received: 28 June 2023   • Revised: 29 August 2023   • Accepted: 30 August 2023

We examined trends in physical activity and sedentary behavior in Korean adolescents, and their association with socioeconomic position (SEP).
We used data from the Korea Youth Risk Behavior Survey, a nationwide study involving students aged 12–19 conducted between 2009 and 2021. SEP was assessed based on economic status, parental education attainment, and urbanization. Physical activity was categorized into vigorous physical activity, moderate physical activity, and muscle training, and sedentary time was also measured. We conducted the log-binomial regression to calculate prevalence ratios (PRs) and prevalence differences.
Our analysis included a total of 593,896 students. We observed an increasing trend in physical activity, but a worsening trend in sedentary behavior. A positive association was found between an adolescent’s physical activity and SEP indicators, except for urbanization. Adolescents with higher economic status engaged in more vigorous physical activity (high: PR=1.26; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.25-1.28, middle: PR=1.03; 95% CI, 1.02-1.04). Similar associations were observed for father’s education (tertiary or above: PR=1.11; 95% CI, 1.09-1.13; upper secondary: PR=1.05; 95% CI, 1.03-1.07) and mother’s education (tertiary or above: PR=1.17; 95% CI, 1.15-1.20; upper secondary: PR=1.06; 95% CI, 1.04-1.08). Adolescents with higher economic status also showed a higher compliance rate with the guideline restricting sedentary time to 2 hours per day (high: PR=1.28; 95% CI, 1.25-1.30; middle: PR=1.03; 95% CI, 1.01-1.05).
Adolescents with higher SEP exhibited more physical activity and less sedentary time than those with lower SEP.

Epidemiol Health : Epidemiology and Health