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Patterns of physical activity and sedentary behavior in normal-weight, overweight and obese adults, as measured with a portable armband device and an electronic diary

Scheers, Tineke, Philippaerts, Renaat, Lefevre, Johan
Clinical nutrition 2012 v.31 no.5 pp. 756-764
adults, analysis of variance, body mass index, electronic equipment, men, obesity, physical activity, women
BACKGROUND & AIMS: Accurate data on domain-specific physical activity and sedentary behavior among normal-weight, overweight and obese adults are scarce. This study described a comprehensive physical (in)activity profile and examined variations in activity across the week. METHODS: Physical activity was measured in 442 Flemish adults (41.4 ± 9.8 years) for 7 days using the SenseWear Armband and an electronic diary. Differences in (in)activity between BMI subgroups were examined using one-way analyses of variance. RESULTS: Physical activity level decreased with increasing BMI in men (1.77–1.46 MET) and women (1.67–1.31 MET). Sedentary time was higher in obese than normal-weight men (+1.09 h/day) and overweight and obese than normal-weight women (+1.04 and +1.88 h/day). Total hours of moderate-to-vigorous activity and bouts of moderate-to-vigorous activity were lower in overweight and obese than normal-weight subjects. The average duration of a sedentary bout and the number of breaks in sedentary time were only different between female BMI groups. The intensity of domain-specific activities decreased with increasing BMI. Activity patterns across the week differed between subgroups, with the difference most pronounced on Saturday for the male BMI groups. CONCLUSIONS: This study described activity patterns among normal-weight, overweight and obese adults. The results should be used to design obesity prevention strategies.