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Physical activity levels in three Brazilian birth cohorts as assessed with raw triaxial wrist accelerometry

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Vincent van Hees


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Background: Data on objectively measured physical activity are lacking in low-and middle-income countries. The aim of this study was to describe objectively measured overall physical activity and time spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in individuals from the Pelotas (Brazil) birth cohorts, according to weight status, socioeconomic status (SES) and sex.Methods: All children born in 1982, 1993 and 2004 in hospitals in the city of Pelotas, Brazil, constitute the sampling frame; of these 99% agreed to participate. The most recent follow-ups were conducted between 2010 and 2013. In total, 8974 individuals provided valid data derived from raw triaxial wrist accelerometry. The average acceleration is presented in milli-g (1 mg = 0.001g), and time (min/d) spent in MVPA (> 100mg) is presented in 5-and 10-min bouts.Results: Mean acceleration in the 1982 (mean age 30.2 years), 1993 (mean age 18.4 years) and 2004 (mean age 6.7 years) cohorts was 35mg, 39mg and 60mg, respectively. Time spent in MVPA was 26 [95% confidence interval (CI) 25; 27], 43 (95% CI 42; 44) and 45 (95% CI 43; 46) min/d in the three cohorts, respectively, using 10-min bouts. Mean MVPA was on average 42% higher when using 5-min bouts. Males were more active than females and physical activity was inversely associated with age of the cohort and SES. Normal-weight individuals were more active than underweight, overweight and obese participants.Conclusions: Overall physical activity and time spent in MVPA differed by cohort (age), sex, weight status and SES. Higher levels of activity in low SES groups may be explained by incidental physical activity.

Publication metadata

Author(s): da Silva ICM, van Hees VT, Ramires VV, Knuth AG, Bielemann RM, Ekelund U, Brage S, Hallal PC

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal of Epidemiology

Year: 2014

Volume: 43

Issue: 6

Pages: 1959-1968

Print publication date: 01/12/2014

Online publication date: 30/10/2019

ISSN (print): 0300-5771

ISSN (electronic): 1464-3685

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/ije/dyu203


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Funder referenceFunder name
Brazilian Federal Agency for the Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education (CAPES)
International Development Research Center (Canada)
Ministry of Health (Brazil)
National Program for Centers of Excellence (PRONEX/CNPq/FAPERGS) (Brazil)
United Nations Development Fund for Women
European Union
National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), (Brazil)
Overseas Development Administration (Department for International Development) (UK)
Pastorate of the Child (Brazil)
Wellcome Trust through a New Investigator Award
World Health Organization (Department of Child and Adolescent Health and Development, and Human Reproduction Programme)
MC_UU_12015/3UK Medical Research Council
WT086974MAWellcome Trust