Can sedentary adults accurately recall the intensity of their physical activity?

G. E. Duncan, Sumner J Sydeman, M. G. Perri, M. C. Limacher, A. D. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

93 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Physical activity, in particular vigorous activity (i.e., ≥6 METs), lowers mortality from chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease (CVD). The 7-Day Physical Activity Recall (PAR), a self-administered activity log (LOG), and heart rate monitoring (HR) were used to quantify activity patterns among sedentary adults. We hypothesized that individuals in this population could accurately estimate the duration, but not the intensity, of their activity. Methods. Sedentary adults (n = 94, 47.8 ± 7.1 years) completed two PARs 1 week apart and underwent HR monitoring while completing a LOG for 1 day during the PAR assessment interval. Results. The relationship between PARs (kcal · kg-1 · day-1) was significant (r = 0.80, 95% CI 0.68-0.87) among individuals (n = 63) reporting "typical" activity patterns and among all individuals (n = 94) reporting "typical" and "not typical" activity patterns combined (r = 0.44, 95% CI 0.26-0.59). Quantity of moderate activity was greater (P = 0.0001) on PAR and LOG compared to that measured by HR. Quantity of hard (vigorous) activity was also greater (P = 0.019) on LOG compared to that measured by HR. Conclusions. Sedentary adults tend to overestimate the intensity of their activity, specifically for moderate activity. Furthermore, the aerobic capacity of our sedentary adult sample (about 7.3 METs) suggests that the definition of a threshold intensity level of activity necessary to reduce mortality from CVD should be reexamined, because a value of ≥6 METs appears to be too high in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-26
Number of pages9
JournalPreventive Medicine
Volume33
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

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Heart Rate
Cardiovascular Diseases
Mortality
Population
Chronic Disease

Keywords

  • Activities of daily living
  • Exercise
  • Leisure activities
  • Oxygen consumption
  • Questionnaires

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Can sedentary adults accurately recall the intensity of their physical activity? / Duncan, G. E.; Sydeman, Sumner J; Perri, M. G.; Limacher, M. C.; Martin, A. D.

In: Preventive Medicine, Vol. 33, No. 1, 2001, p. 18-26.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Duncan, G. E. ; Sydeman, Sumner J ; Perri, M. G. ; Limacher, M. C. ; Martin, A. D. / Can sedentary adults accurately recall the intensity of their physical activity?. In: Preventive Medicine. 2001 ; Vol. 33, No. 1. pp. 18-26.
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AB - Background: Physical activity, in particular vigorous activity (i.e., ≥6 METs), lowers mortality from chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease (CVD). The 7-Day Physical Activity Recall (PAR), a self-administered activity log (LOG), and heart rate monitoring (HR) were used to quantify activity patterns among sedentary adults. We hypothesized that individuals in this population could accurately estimate the duration, but not the intensity, of their activity. Methods. Sedentary adults (n = 94, 47.8 ± 7.1 years) completed two PARs 1 week apart and underwent HR monitoring while completing a LOG for 1 day during the PAR assessment interval. Results. The relationship between PARs (kcal · kg-1 · day-1) was significant (r = 0.80, 95% CI 0.68-0.87) among individuals (n = 63) reporting "typical" activity patterns and among all individuals (n = 94) reporting "typical" and "not typical" activity patterns combined (r = 0.44, 95% CI 0.26-0.59). Quantity of moderate activity was greater (P = 0.0001) on PAR and LOG compared to that measured by HR. Quantity of hard (vigorous) activity was also greater (P = 0.019) on LOG compared to that measured by HR. Conclusions. Sedentary adults tend to overestimate the intensity of their activity, specifically for moderate activity. Furthermore, the aerobic capacity of our sedentary adult sample (about 7.3 METs) suggests that the definition of a threshold intensity level of activity necessary to reduce mortality from CVD should be reexamined, because a value of ≥6 METs appears to be too high in this population.

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