Background/Aims: Physical activity (PA) influences predictors of long-term health, particularly cardiorespiratory and metabolic disease risk. This report investigates objectively measured PA levels in healthy, pre-menopausal women participating in the women’s EXPLORE (Examining the Predictors Linking Obesity Related Elements) study.
Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 355 healthy New Zealand (Maori, Pacific, European) women aged 16-45y, were classified as non-obese or obese (body fat <35% and ≥35%, respectively). Triaxial accelerometers were worn for 7 days to assess levels of sedentary, light, moderate and vigorous PA (0-99, 100-2019, 2020-5998, ≥5999 counts.min-1, respectively).
Results: Obese women performed less moderate and vigorous PA than non-obese women. More obese women (71%) performed ≤10 min.wk-1 vigorous PA than non-obese women (47%), whilst 44% of obese and 16% of non-obese women engaged in no vigorous PA. PA guidelines for moderate PA (150 min.wk-1) were not met by 43% of obese and 27% of non-obese women. Overall, sedentary behaviour and light PA accounted for 97% of waking time, almost two-thirds of which was sedentary time. Furthermore, more than half of the women were sedentary for >10 h.d-1.
Conclusions: Alarmingly, 43% of obese, pre-menopausal New Zealand women failed to meet PA guidelines recommended as beneficial for cardiorespiratory and metabolic health. Furthermore, sedentary behaviour accounted for substantially more time than light, moderate and vigorous PA combined. Our data suggest that there is significant potential to improve long-term health outcomes by spending more time performing PA, especially increasing moderate and vigorous activity levels.
Funding Sources: Nutricia Research Foundation