Objectively Measured Weekly Physical Activity among Adolescent Boys and its Relation to Health-Related Physical Fitness
Research background and hypothesis. The objective methods of measuring physical activity (PA) are used more
and more widely in various types of research. However, in Lithuania there is a lack of such studies with adolescents.
Thus, we conducted a pilot study to objectively measure boys’ PA and to develop a more accurate PA assessment
methodology in Lithuania.
The purpose of this study was to analyse the objectively measured adolescent boys’ weekly physical activity
and its relation to their body composition and physical fitness.
Research methods. The participants of this study were 104 healthy adolescent boys. Physical activity of
schoolboys was measured using actigraphs (Tri-axis ActiTrainer Activity Monitors). The level of the intensity of
physical activity was determined by calculating energy consumption in MET’s. Low PA (LPA) equals up to 3 MET’s,
moderate PA (MPA) – 3–6 MET’s, and vigorous PA (VPA) – 8 or more METs. Based on the frequency of VPA and
MPA per week, the participants of this study were divided into physical activity groups. For health-related physical
fitness assessment the following tests were used: body composition (using TANITA Body Analyser, TBF-300);
flexibility (sit and reach test, Eurofitas, 2002), power (vertical jump was measured using a jump parameter gauge
(SBM-1), muscular strength and endurance (modified push-up test (Suni et al., 1994)).
Research results. All of the schoolboys demonstrated LPA on each day of the assessment. MPA on each day was
experienced by 59.6% of the boys. No participants achieved VPA . The most frequent MPA and VPA were observed
5–7 and 1–3 days per week, respectively. Results of body composition indicated that boys experiencing VPA had
lower body fat mass compared to those who experienced only MPA and LPA (p < 0.05). Analysis of physical fitness
results indicated that boys who experienced VPA were better muscular in strength and endurance test (p < 0.05), but
results of high jump and sit and reach test were not significantly different.
Discussion and conclusion. Boys who experienced VPA at least for 3 days/week demonstrated better muscular
strength and endurance results and had lower body fat content (%) (p < 0.05). For boys who did not experience
MPA at least for 6 days/week, the total amount of weekly physical activity decreased and they could not produce
better results in strength and endurance test (p < 0.05). Better results of boys’ muscular strength and endurance were significantly related to their body lower BMI (r = 0.279; p < 0.05) and fat mass (r = 0.387; p < 0.01). Objectively Measured Weekly Physical Activity among Adolescent Boys and its Relation to Health-Related Physical Fitness
Keywords: physical activity, MET’s, actigraphs.
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