Prevalence of physical activity in the United States: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2001

Macera, Caroline A., Ham, Sandra A., Yore, Michelle M., Jones, Deborah A., Ainsworth, Barbara E., Kimsey, C. Dexter and Kohl III, Harold W. (2005) Prevalence of physical activity in the United States: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2001. Preventing chronic disease [electronic resource], 2 2: A17.1-A17.10.

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Author Macera, Caroline A.
Ham, Sandra A.
Yore, Michelle M.
Jones, Deborah A.
Ainsworth, Barbara E.
Kimsey, C. Dexter
Kohl III, Harold W.
Title Prevalence of physical activity in the United States: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2001
Journal name Preventing chronic disease [electronic resource]   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1545-1151
Publication date 2005-04
Sub-type Article (original research)
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 2
Issue 2
Start page A17.1
End page A17.10
Total pages 10
Place of publication Atlanta, GA, United States
Publisher U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Language eng
Subject 111712 Health Promotion
111706 Epidemiology
Abstract Introduction The health benefits of regular cardiovascular exercise are well-known. Such exercise, however, has traditionally been defined as vigorous physical activity, such as jogging, swimming, or aerobic dance. Exercise of moderate intensity also promotes health, and many U.S. adults may be experiencing the health benefits of exercise through lifestyle activities of moderate intensity, such as yard work, housework, or walking for transportation. Until recently, public health surveillance systems have not included assessments of this type of physical activity, focusing on exercise of vigorous intensity. We used an enhanced surveillance tool to describe the prevalence and amount of both moderate-intensity and vigorous-intensity physical activity among U.S. adults. Methods We analyzed data from the 2001 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a state-based, random-digit–dialed telephone survey administered to U.S. adults aged 18 years and older (n = 82,834 men and 120,286 women). Physical activity behavior was assessed using questions designed to quantify the frequency of participation in moderate- or vigorous-intensity physical activities performed during leisure time or for household chores and transportation. Results Overall, 45% of adults (48% of men and 43% of women) were active at recommended levels during nonworking hours (at least 30 minutes five or more days per week in moderate-intensity activities, equivalent to brisk walking, or at least 20 minutes three or more days per week in vigorous activities, equivalent to running, heavy yard work, or aerobic dance). Less than 16% of adults (15% of men and 17% of women) reported no moderate or vigorous activity in a usual week. Conclusion Integrating surveillance of lifestyle activities into national systems is possible, and doing so may provide a more accurate representation of the prevalence of recommended levels of physical activity. These results, however, suggest that the majority of U.S. adults are not active at levels associated with the promotion and maintenance of health.
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Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences Publications
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Created: Mon, 02 Mar 2009, 14:14:43 EST by Ms Lynette Adams on behalf of School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences