Bruce W. Bailey, Pamela Borup, James D. LeCheminant, Larry A. Tucker and Jacob Bromley
The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between intensity of physical activity (PA) and body composition in 343 young women.
Physical activity was objectively measured using accelerometers worn for 7 days in women 17 to 25 years. Body composition was assessed using the BOD POD.
Young women who spent less than 30 minutes a week performing vigorous PA had significantly higher body fat percentages than women who performed more than 30 minutes of vigorous PA per week (F = 4.54, P = .0113). Young women who spent less than 30 minutes per day in moderate to vigorous PA (MVPA) had significantly higher body fat percentages than those who obtained more than 30 minutes per day of MVPA (F = 7.47, P = .0066). Accumulating more than 90 minutes of MVPA per day was associated with the lowest percent body fat. For every 10 minutes spent in MVPA per day, the odds of having a body fat percentage above 32% decreased by 29% (P = .0002).
Vigorous PA and MVPA are associated with lower adiposity. Young women should be encouraged to accumulate at least 30 minutes of MVPA per day, however getting more than 90 minutes a day is predictive of even lower levels of adiposity.
Bruce Wayne Bailey, Pamela Borup, Larry Tucker, James LeCheminant, Matthew Allen and Whitney Hebbert
The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between steps per day and adiposity among college women.
This study was cross-sectional and included women ages 18–25. Participants wore a pedometer for 7 consecutive days. Body composition was assessed using air-displacement plethysmography. Height, weight, and waist and hip circumferences were assessed.
The women took 10,119 ± 2836 steps per day. When divided into quartiles by steps, the top 2 quartiles of women in the study had significantly lower BMI, percent body fat, and waist and hip circumferences than the bottom quartile of women (P ≤ .05). Percent body fat was different between the bottom 2 quartiles and the top 2 quartiles (P ≤ .05). The odds of having a body fat of greater than 32% were reduced by 21.9% for every increase of 1,000 steps taken per day (P ≤ .05).
Steps per day are related to body composition in young adult women, but this relationship weakens with progressively higher step counts. A reasonable recommendation for steps in young adult women that is associated with the lowest BMIs and body fat seems to be between 10,000–12,000 steps per day.