IJERPH, Vol. 18, Pages 9809: Taking Up and Terminating Leisure-Time Physical Activity over the Life Course: The Role of Life Events in the Familial and Occupational Life Domains (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
Leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) is associated with various health-promoting effects. However, little is known about the relationship between life events and changes in LTPA over the life course, especially when multiple life events occur simultaneously. Therefore, this study examines taking up and terminating LTPA associated with life events in the familial and occupational life domains over 16 years of 16–76-year-old Swiss inhabitants (n = 1857) in a retrospective longitudinal cohort design, using a validated telephone survey and multilevel discrete-time event-history analyses. The results show that taking up LTPA was more likely when ending a relationship and retiring and less likely when becoming a parent; terminating LTPA was more likely when ending a job, starting vocational training after 30 years, a relationship ended for men, and becoming a mother with increasing age. If experiencing multiple life events simultaneously, the greater the number of life events, the more likely persons aged 45–70 years were to take up LTPA and, conversely, the more likely persons aged 15–44 years to terminate LTPA. The relationship between life events and changes in LTPA over the life course was often age dependent, especially when experiencing multiple life events simultaneously. The findings should be considered when promoting LTPA.