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Karin I. Proper, Ester Cerin and Neville Owen

Background:

There is an inverse relationship between individual socio-economic status (SES) and amount of occupational physical activity. The role of the socio-economic environment is, however, less clear. This study examined the independent influences of neighborhood and individual SES on absolute and relative amount of occupational physical activity. It also examined the moderating effects of neighborhood SES on the relationship between individual SES and occupational physical activity.

Methods:

Employees (n = 1236) resident in high or low SES neighborhoods were assessed on socio-demographic factors, including educational attainment and household income, and physical activity.

Results:

Neighborhood SES and individual SES were independently inversely related to absolute and relative amount of occupational physical activity. Significant interactions between neighborhood SES and level of educational attainment in the contribution of total and vigorous occupational physical activity to total physical activity were found.

Conclusions:

Neighborhood SES can function as a moderator in the relationship between individual SES and occupational physical activity.

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Julian D. Pillay, Tracy L. Kolbe-Alexander, Karin I. Proper, Willem van Mechelen and Estelle V. Lambert

Background:

Brisk walking is recommended as a form of health-enhancing physical activity. This study determines the steps/minute rate corresponding to self-paced brisk walking (SPBW); a predicted steps/minute rate for moderate physical activity (MPA) and a comparison of the 2 findings.

Methods:

A convenience sample (N = 58: 34 men, 24 women, 31.7 ± 7.7yrs), wearing pedometers and a heart rate (HR) monitor, performed SPBW for 10 minutes and 5 indoor sessions, regulated by a metronome (ranging from 60–120 steps/minute). Using steps/minute and HR data of the trials, a steps/minute rate for MPA was predicted. Adjustments were subsequently made for aerobic fitness (using maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) estimates), age, and sex as possible contributors to stepping rate differences.

Results:

Average steps/minute rate for SPBW was 118 ± 9 (116 ± 9; 121 ± 8 for men/women, respectively; P = .022); predicted steps/minute rate for MPA was 122 ± 37 (127 ± 36; 116 ± 39 for men/women, respectively; P < .99) and was similar to steps/minute rate of SPBW (P = .452), even after adjusting for age, sex, and aerobic fitness.

Conclusion:

Steps/minute rates of SPBW correlates closely with targeted HR for MPA, independent of aerobic fitness; predicted steps/minute rate for MPA relates closely to steps/minute rates of SPBW. Findings support current PA messages that use the term brisk walking as a reference for MPA.