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A comparative study of the determinants of physical activity, sedentary behaviours and dietary intake among Korean children in Korea and Canada Open Access


Other title
Physical activity
Korean children
Sedentary behaviours
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Lee, Jong Gil
Supervisor and department
Spence, John (Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation)
Examining committee member and department
Marshall, Dru (Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary)
McCargar, Linda (Department of Agricultural Food and Nutritional Science)
McHugh, Tara-Leigh (Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation)
Kolt, Gregory (School of Biomedical and Health Sciences, University of Western Sydney)
Walker, Gordon (Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation)
Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Background: The rising trends in youth physical inactivity are universal, especially among ethnic minority youth populations. Even though reduced physical activity levels and increased sedentary behaviours have influenced the current epidemic of overweight and obesity in children, little attention has focused on youth physical activity among Asian populations such as Koreans. Research is needed to examine how socio-cultural factors influence health-related behaviours of Korean children in Canada, and whether they are more at risk of being physically inactive than children living in their own country. Purpose: In a series of three studies, this dissertation aimed to compare the environment and health-related behaviours of two cultural groups and then investigate which factors may be related to the differential rates of physical activity, sedentary behavior and dietary intake among Korean children in Korea and Canada. Methods: In Study 1, the reliability of a Korean translation of the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Older Children (PAQ-C) was tested with 48 bilingual children. For Study 2, 1,094 children were recruited from Canada and Korea. Measurement included anthropometric measures, physical activity levels, sedentary behaviours, dietary intake, correlates of physical activity and prevalence of obesity. Pedometers were used to measure physical activity among 198 Korean and Korean Canadian children in Study 3. Results: In Study 1, a significant test-retest correlation was found between the Korean and English versions of the PAQ-C. In Study 2, the interaction effect between group and gender was statistically significant for levels of physical activity. Statistically significant differences also emerged for sedentary behaviours between Korean and Korean Canadian children. In addition, significant differences were found in involvement in organized sports and active transportation to school between the two groups. Significant associations were also identified among the correlates of physical activity in both groups. Conclusion: This dissertation provided important and contextual information regarding the role the environment plays on health-related behaviours in Korean children in Korea and Canada. By exploring environmental influences on physical activity, dietary habits, and sedentary behaviours in relation to childhood obesity, this study may offer new understanding about the important role of socio-cultural factors on children’s health.
License granted by Jong Gil Lee Lee ( on 2011-09-29T21:20:36Z (GMT): Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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