Health literacy, pedometer, and self-reported walking among older adults

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17 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives. We examined the association of health literacy with physical activity and physical activity guideline adherence in older adults. Methods.Weused cross-sectional data from a 2012 population-based study in Alberta, Canada, assessing health literacy, and deriving moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and metabolic equivalent of task (MET) minutes per week from the Godin Leisure-Time Exercise Questionnaire, and steps per day via a pedometer. Results. Mean age of participants (n = 1296) was 66.4 (SD = 8.2) years, 57% were female, and 94% were White. Nine percent had inadequate health literacy, and 46% met guidelines for self-reported physical activity and 18% for steps per day. Participants with inadequate health literacy had nonsignificant adjusted decrements of 58 MVPA minutes and 218 MET minutes per week and were less likely to meet physical activity guidelines (MVPA: odds ratio = 0.63; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.41, 0.97; P = .037; MET: odds ratio = 0.65; 95% CI = 0.42, 1.01; P = .057) compared with their health-literate counterparts. Such differences were nonsignificant for steps per day. Conclusions. Inadequate health literacy was associated with less likelihood of meeting MVPA guidelines based on self-reported physical activity, but not based on an objective measure of steps per day.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-333
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Public Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb. 2016


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