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OBJECTIVE - To examine the relationship between the amount and patterns of physical activity (PA), body fatness, and age in a heterogeneous adult population in the free living.
DESIGN - Cross-sectional study of the amount of PA over a 1-week period. The amount of body movements during PA (PA counts*10(3)) and time spent on various PA intensity categories were calculated from a triaxial accelerometer and compared with subject characteristics, including body fat from hydrodensitometry.
PARTICIPANTS - Adult healthy men (n=48) and women (n=72) were recruited from the Nashville, Tennessee area and their PA was monitored in their free-living environment.
RESULTS - The average weekday PA counts (176.5+/-60.3, P=0.002, r(2)=0.294), PA counts day-to-day variability (47.3+/-32.7, P=0.002, r(2)=0.286), daily maximum PA counts (241.9+/-89.2, P=0.001, r(2)=0.327), minute-to-minute variability on weekdays (0.281+/-0.091, P=0.001, r(2)=0.362), and the difference between maximum and minimum daily PA counts (130.6+/-78.3, P=0.008, r(2)=0.243) were significantly and negatively correlated with body fatness. During awake time, both men and women spent 10-12 h on low intensity (1.0-2.9 metabolic equivalents (METs)) PA, approximately 1 h on moderate (3.0-5.9 MET), and less than 10 min on vigorous (>6.0 MET) PA each day. On weekends, men and women spent more time at rest (1 MET), less time on low-intensity PA, and men spent more time on moderate PA than on weekdays.
CONCLUSIONS - In adults living in the Southern US the amount of free-living PA was negatively correlated with body fatness. Both men and women spent the majority of active time on low and moderate PA. PA patterns on weekends were different than on weekdays and were related to sex and age, but not to body fatness.
SPONSORSHIP - National Institutes of Health, US.