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Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2003 Mar;35(3):465-71.

Objective physical activity of filipino youth stratified for commuting mode to school.

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  • 1Department of Exercise and Wellness, Arizona State University, Mesa, AZ 85212, USA.



The Cebu Longitudinal Health and Nutrition Survey included self-report measures and objective measures (Caltrac accelerometer) of Filipino adolescent (ages 14-16) physical activity (PA) in 1998-99. The purpose of this subanalysis was to compare objectively monitored PA of adolescents who differed by their self-reported habitual commuting mode to school, specifically commuting by walking, motorized transport, or a combination of the two.


Descriptive analysis included the proportion of adolescents who reported commuting to school by the different modes, participating in sport/exercise during or after school, or currently working. ANCOVA was used to estimate and compare adjusted mean Caltrac-derived energy expenditure (kcal.d ) by commuting mode for each gender. Covariates were age, weight, and height.


The analysis sample of 1518 Filipino adolescents included 691 male (BMI = 18.5 +/- 2.5) and 827 female subjects (BMI = 18.7 +/- 2.3). A total of 323 male subjects (46.8% of all male subjects) walked to school, 160 (23.2%) took motorized transport, and 208 (30.0%) used a combination of the two modes. The corresponding values for female subjects were 303 (36.6%), 177 (21.4%), and 347 (42.0%). The absolute difference in Caltrac-derived energy expenditure that appeared to be due to active commuting was 44.2 kcal.d for Filipino male adolescents and 33.2 kcal.d for female adolescents. These differences between commuting modes could not be explained by participation in sport/exercise or by current employment.


Assuming 200 school days in a year, the difference in energy expended due to active commuting translates to a 8840 kcal and 6640 kcal in male and female subjects, respectively. For those youth who commute to school by motorized transport a yearly positive energy balance (i.e., weight gain) of 2-3 lb would be anticipated, all other things being held constant.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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