Accelerometry Measured Ethnic Differences in Activity in Rural Adolescents

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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To determine if there are differences in time spent in physical activity and sedentary behavior between rural African American and Caucasian children.


Children wore accelerometers for 3 weekdays. The students were randomly selected from a larger sample of children participating in a weight gain prevention intervention. Usable data were obtained from 272 of the 310 students who agreed to participate. The outcome data included counts per minute (CPM), time spent in moderate to vigorous (MVPA), light (LPA), and sedentary (SED) activity. The equation and cutoff used to analyze national accelerometry data were used for the current study.


The sample had an average age of 10.4 (1.1) years and 76% were African American. Lower SES African Americans had more CPM (P = .012) and spent more time in MVPA (P = .008) compared with middle SES African American and lower SES Caucasian children. Lower SES African American children also spent fewer minutes in SED activity (P = .044) compared with middle SES African American children.


These findings support recent results that also used objective activity measures. Children appeared less active and more sedentary than a national sample, warranting interventions in minority and rural populations.

Newton, Martin, and Williamson are with the Dept of Health Behavior, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, LA. Han is with the Dept of Population Sciences, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, LA. Sothern is with the School of Public Health, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, LA. Webber is with the Dept of Biostatistics, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, LA.