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Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2003 Nov;35(11):1887-93.

Amount and bouts of physical activity in a sample of African-American women.

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Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia 19104-6021, USA.



To describe physical activity (PA) patterns in a sample of African-American women in comparison with the national recommendation for moderate PA.


Volunteers (N=55; ages 25-55 yr (mean +/- SD 39.6 +/- 8.7); body mass index [BMI] 17.9-56.4 kg.m(-2) (31.3 +/- 7.9 kg.m(-2))) were recruited by word of mouth. PA was measured using accelerometers, pedometers, and PA records for two 4-d periods.


Participants accumulated 31.9 +/- 18.0 min.d(-1) in moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA), primarily through short bouts lasting 1-4 (median 11.9 bouts.d(-1)) and 5-7 min (median 0.6 bouts.d(-1)) but only on 3.1 +/- 2.4 d.wk(-1). Women with BMI<25.0 kg.m(-2) accumulated more daily PA than those with BMI 25.0-29.9 kg.m(-2) or > or =30 kg.m(-2) (50.3, 32.0, and 25.3 min.d(-1), respectively; P<0.001) and on more days per week (5.8, 3.0, 2.3 d, respectively; P<0.001). Of 42 women who completed both PA data collection periods, 17 achieved > or =30 min of MVPA on > or =5 of 8 d; however, only two achieved the PA in the recommended pattern (one 30-min bout or several 8-10 min bouts).


The current study showed that, although this sample was not sedentary, few participants met the activity level recommended for health benefits because activity was performed on too few days per week, particularly among overweight and obese participants. In addition, the bout pattern for most participants was not at the recommended length of at least 8-10 min. This suggests that additional emphasis on the recommended days per week and bout length may be necessary when counseling individuals about physical activity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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