Physical activity in groups of Swedish adults. Are the recommendations feasible?
AbstractBackground: Successful public health programs in the area of physical activity demand a clear understanding of how, and to what extent, people are physically active. Physical activity is, however, dif. cult to measure accurately. Objective: We conducted tests using various methods, including an accelerometer and the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ). Design: The results were applied on a feasibility sample, aged 41910 years (N=49) and on random samples of a community in the Stockholm area (N=200) and of the Swedish population (N=196), aged 47914 years and 45913 years respectively. Results: A majority of individuals in all samples reached the current recommendation of at least thirty minutes in total per day or more of moderate physical activity. However, based on accelerometer data this was achieved mainly through sporadic bouts of less than one minute. Few, if any, appeared to reach thirty minutes of continuous moderately intense activity or ev en continuous bouts of at least ten minutes three times per day. Conclusions: This study gives new insight into how, and to what extent, people are physically active, and raises a number of issues. Which is more effective for public health purposes: reaching the total recommended time in short bouts of physical activity or reaching it on one or a few sustained periods of activity? What are the implications for promoting a physically active lifestyle? Current recommendations for physical activity need to be discussed. Keywords: Accelerometer, doubly labelled water (DLW), guidelines, monitoring, physical activity, questionnaires.
Authors retain copyright of their work, with first publication rights granted to SNF Swedish Nutrition Foundation. Read the full Copyright- and Licensing Statement.