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Contribution of Light Physical Activity to Total Daily Physical Activity in Adolescent Girls: 937May 30 2:45 PM - 3:00 PM

Pfeiffer, Karin A. FACSM1; Dowda, Marsha2; Schmitz, Kathryn H. FACSM3; Going, Scott4; Ward, Dianne S. FACSM5; Pate, Russell R. FACSM2; Neumark-Sztainer, Dianne6; Sirard, John R.6; Webber, Larry S.7

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 2008 - Volume 40 - Issue 5 - p S97
doi: 10.1249/01.mss.0000321872.80078.98
F-14 Free Communication/Slide - Children and Adolescents: May 30, 2008 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM ROOM: 105

1Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI. 2University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC. 3University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. 4University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ. 5University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC. 6University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN. 7Tulane University, New Orleans, LA.


(No relationships reported)

Investigations examining physical activity (PA) in children/youth focus on increasing moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and/or achievement of activity recommendations. However, there is increasing evidence that light intensity physical activity (LPA) may play a role in obesity prevention. Little is known about the contribution of LPA to total activity (TPA).

PURPOSE: The purposes of this investigation were to determine the contribution of LPA to TPA and to describe the characteristics of LPA in adolescent girls.

METHODS: The Trial of Activity for Adolescent Girls (TAAG) was a multi-center grouprandomized trial designed to test an intervention to reduce the usual decline in MVPA in middle-school girls. Data represent a cross-sectional examination of 3443 8th grade girls (46% White, 22% African American, 21% Hispanic, 11% Other) at the follow-up measurement in spring 2005. PA was measured by accelerometry (ActiGraph 7164), with readings between 51-1499 counts·30 sec-1 considered LPA and those 1500-2600 as MVPA. Percent of time spent in LPA was calculated two ways: proportion of LPA per TPA (LPA+ MVPA) and proportion of LPA per time spent in non-sleep activity (sedentary + LPA+ MVPA). Participants also completed the 3-Day PA Recall (3DPAR) to provide context regarding PA. Data analysis consisted of 3-way ANOVAs (race x weight status x free/ reduced lunch), controlling for age, with site and school as random effects.

RESULTS: Girls spent 93% of activity time in LPA and 36% of non-sleep activity time in LPA. African American girls spent more time in TPA (328 min/day) and LPA (307 min/day) than other racial groups (p<0.05). White girls spent the least amount of TPA in LPA (93%; p<0.001), and almost all race groups were different from each other in time spent in LPA per time spent in non-sleep activity. Overweight girls spent the highest percentage of activity time in LPA. There were no differences by free/reduced lunch. The most common light activities reported were travel by walking, chores, PE class, walking for exercise, dancing, and working.

CONCLUSION: Adolescent girls spend a large proportion of time in LPA. These light activities could be potential intervention targets.

Supported by NIH grants U01HL66858, U01HL66857, U01HL66845, U01HL66856, U01HL66855, U01HL66853, U01HL66852

©2008The American College of Sports Medicine