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Korean Journal of Epidemiology 1998;20(1): 113-125.
Nationwide Telephone Survey on Leisure Time Physical Activity among Koreans.
Sung Hee Lee, Tae Woo Yoo, Joung Soon Kim
1Health Promotion Center, Asan Medical Center, Korea.
2Department of Family Medicine, College of Medicine, SeoulNational University, Korea.
3Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, SeoulNational University, Korea.
Epidemiologic research has demonstrated that varying grade of physical activity has protective effects on several chronic diseases, including coronary heart disease, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, osteporosis, anxiety and depression. Despite the importance of physical activity as an health promotion factor, there have been only a few research data available in Korea. This telephone interview survey on randomly sampled 1,060 adultsaged 15-69 years was carried out to find out the prevalence of self-reported leisure-time physical activity among Korean adults in terms of health promotion practice. The nationwide telephone interview survey was conducted from April through May 1997. Multistage stratified random sampling method was used for sample selection, the respondent was randomly selected from an entire group of adults who lived at the residence connected with the telephone number. A total of 1,060 adults were interviewed and the interviewees' leisure-time physical activity was categorized into four patterns: 'physically inactive', 'irregularly active', 'regularly active, not intensive', and 'regularly active, intensive'. About 53% of the respondents were physically inactive, 15% irregularly active, 14% regularly active, and only 18% were regularly active, intensive. Women were less active than men anc persons of lower socioeconomic status(SES) were less active than higher SES. Physical activity was not significantly associated with smoking status, drinking pattern and overweight, but negatively associated with daily smoking amount and total duration of smoking in smokers. Individuals with higher lever of physical activity were more likely to check blood pressure regularly and have had screening examination for stomach cancer. Conclusively, the proportion of Korean people who perform appropriate level of physical activity in terms of health promotion is still very low, thus an enforced intervention program becomes indispensable to achieve the national health goal by the year 2000.
Keywords: Leisure time physical activity; Nationwide telephone survey; Health risk factor; Preventive health behavior


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