Pedometer-Determined Physical Activity Levels of Adolescents: Differences by Age, Sex, Time of Week, and Transportation Mode to School

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background:

Few studies have examined high school students’ physical activity habits using objective measures. The purpose of this study was to describe pedometer-determined habitual physical activity levels of youth.

Methods:

236 high school students (age 12–18 years) wore sealed pedometers for 5 consecutive days. Data were analyzed using generalizing estimating equations.

Results:

Mean steps/d (± SE) differed significantly by sex (males, 10,849 ± 381; females, 9652 ± 289), age (junior students [years 9–11], 11,079 ± 330; senior students [years 12 and 13], 9422 ± 334), time of week (weekday, 12,259 ± 287; weekend day, 8241 ± 329), and mode of transportation to and from school (walkers, 13,308 ± 483; car transit users, 10,986 ± 435). Only 14.5% of students achieved at least 10,000 steps on every day during the monitoring period.

Conclusion:

Daily step counts differed substantially by age, sex, time of week, and transportation mode to school.

Hohepa, Schofield, Kolt, and Garrett are with the Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland 1142, New Zealand. Kolt is also with the School of Biomedical and Health Sciences, University of Western Sydney, Penrith South DC NSW 1797, Australia. Scragg is with the School of Population Health, The University of Auckland, Auckland 1142, New Zealand.