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Препринт

The Factors Of Physical Activities In Russian Youth: Evidence From Micro-Data

Physical activity is considered today as a leading factor in health and well-being in developed countries. With decreasing levels of alcohol and tobacco consumption, widespread sedentary lifestyles have taken centre stage among the predictors of non-communicable diseases. That is why Russia, along with other countries, has adopted the “Physical activity strategy for the WHO European Region 2016–2025”. Young people are among the target groups of public policy promoting physical activity. This paper investigates physical activity among young people aged 15 to 24 years. The empirical study is based on a descriptive and econometric analysis of micro-data from the Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS), 2000–2016. The research shows that 50% of young men and 65% of young women do not exercise on a regular basis. Both for men and for women, the probability of physical activity is positively related to their educational level, household income, and residence in capital cities. Negative relations were found between the probability of physical activity and smoking, status of married person, and employed and non-employed status. The results for alcohol consumption, body mass index and self-assessed health are inconclusive for this age group. The results confirm the necessity of better-targeted public policy motivating physical activity in youth. Overall, policy measures motivating young people to take part in physical activity will have a long-term effect. Habits developed in youth often persist into adulthood. The result will be a gain in the health and longevity of the Russian population.