Can marital status alter physical activity levels?
London, Dec 5 : While a divorce or a new relationship brings many changes in a person's life, a new study shows an association with reduced physical activity levels.
The total number of non-exercise steps was reduced for men who divorced, whereas for women who found a new spouse, the total steps decreased significantly when compared to women married throughout.
According to the researchers, it is difficult to provide a single explanatory factor about the effects of changes in marital status on physical activity.
"It seems that the changes in relationships affect the physical activity of men and women differently," said Kasper Salin, postdoctoral researcher from the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland.
For the study, published in the Journal of Public Health, the team included 1,051 participants aged between 34 and 49.
They also investigated the relationship between socioeconomic position and changes in physical activity.
They found that among the men and women with the highest socioeconomic status, the number of aerobic steps increased significantly over the four years.
Here, aerobic steps refers to steps taken during activities that last for at least 10 minutes without interruption at a pace of 60 or more steps per minute.
"The rise in the number of steps focused on the highest social classes, especially in aerobic steps," says Salin. "From the point of view of maintaining physical fitness and working ability, it is important to add aerobic steps."