Low Level of Physical Activity in Two Roma Subgroups Compared to Non-Roma Population in Niraj Valley, Transylvania

DOI: 10.2478/jim-2019-0002


Objective: A low level of physical activity is a cardiovascular risk factor. Physical activity patterns may differ among different ethnic groups. Aim of the study: Our aim was to evaluate the physical activity patterns of two different Roma populations compared to non-Roma. Material and Methods: The study population included 231 Gabor Roma, 111 Băieși Roma, and 183 non-Roma. A 70-item questionnaire was administered, including also the short form of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire, evaluating daily physical activity in minutes and physical activity categories such as walking, gardening, household activity, and sports. Anthropometric parameters (weight, height, waist and hip circumference) were measured. Results: The level of physical activity was the lowest among Gabor Roma and was lower in both Roma groups than in non-Roma (Gabor Roma 118.6 ± 91.1 min/day, Băieși Roma 207.55 ± 172.1 min/day, and non-Roma 234.12 ± 167.3 min/day). Both Roma groups had significantly lower percentages of gardening and sport activities compared to non-Roma. Women had a higher level of daily physical activity than men in the Gabor Roma population (144.22 ± 109.4 min/day vs. 79.71 ± 58.2 min/day, p = 0.001). In the two other groups the differences were not statistically significant. Conclusions: Both Roma groups had significantly lower levels of daily physical activity, with differences between genders. Both Roma groups were lesser engaged in sports and gardening than non-Roma subjects.