Assessing Physical Activity in Muslim Women of South Asian Origin

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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We assessed the quality of data on physical activity obtained by recall from Muslim women of South Asian origin, and the feasibility of using accelerometer-based physical activity monitors to provide more objective measures of physical activity in this group.


In this largely qualitative study, 22 British Pakistani women were asked to wear accelerometers (the GT1M Actigraph and/or the Sensewear Armband) for 4 days, provided 2 24-hour recalls of activities, and were interviewed about their experiences with the monitors.


Women reported spending most of their time in housework and childcare, activities which generated the majority of recorded bouts of moderate to vigorous physical activity. However, women had difficulty in recalling the timing, and assessing the intensity, of these usually unstructured activities. A significant minority of accelerometer datasets were incomplete and some women reported either forgetting to wear the acceler-ometer or finding it intrusive.


Questionnaires are unlikely to provide an accurate assessment of physical activity in this group of women. This suggests that accelerometer data will be preferable. However, collecting sufficient data for large-scale studies using activity monitors in this population will be challenging.

Pollard is with the Dept of Anthropology, Durham University, Durham, United Kingdom. Guell is with the Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies, Bridgetown, Barbados.

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