Influence of Cut-Points on Patterns of Accelerometry-Measured Free-Living Physical Activity in Rural and Urban Black South African Women

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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We describe the effect of 2 different accelerometer cut-points on physical activity (PA) patterns in rural and urban black South African women.


Hip-mounted uni-axial accelerometers were worn for 6 to 7 days by rural (n = 272) and urban (n = 16) participants. Twenty-hour (4 AM to 12 AM) PA counts (cts) and volumes (min·day−1) were extracted: sedentary (SED, <100 cts·min−1), light (100–759 cts·min−1), moderate-1 (MOD1, 760–1951 cts·min−1), moderate-2 to vigorous (MOD2VG, ≥1952 cts·min−1), and bouts ≥10 min for ≥760 cts·min−1 (MOD1VGbt) and ≥1952 cts·min−1 (MOD2VGbt).


Valid data were obtained from 263 rural women and 16 urban women. Total counts and average counts were higher (+80,399 cts·day−1, +98 cts·min−−1) (P < .01), SED lower (−61 min·day−1, P = .0042), MOD1 higher (+65 min·day−1, P < .0001), and MOD1VGbt higher (+19 min·day−1, P = .0179) in rural women compared with urban women. Estimated adherence (≥30 min·day−1 for 5 days·wk−1) was 1.4-fold higher in rural women than urban women for MOD-1VGbt, but 3.3-fold higher in urban women than rural women for MOD2VGbt.


Rural women accumulate greater amounts of PA than urban women within a particular count band. Depending on which moderate PA cut-point was used to estimate PA public health adherence, rural women could be classified as less physically active than urban women.

Cook is with the Physical Activity Epidemiology Laboratory, University of Limpopo, Polokwane, South Africa. Alberts is with the Dept of Medical Sciences, University of Limpopo, Polokwane, South Africa. Lambert is with the UCT/MRC Research Unit for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.

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