Research Study Abstract

Patterns of Objectively Measured Physical Activity and Sedentary Time in South Asian Women

  • Presented on July 3, 2014

Introduction: South Asian (SA) women in the United Kingdom (UK) are at high risk for the development of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular health disease (CVD) and type 2 diabetes, and the few published studies with these groups indicate low levels of self-reported physical activity (PA). Increasing PA and reducing sedentary time (ST) are key factors to target in an effort to curb chronic disease morbidity and mortality. There is limited evidence documenting objectively measured PA and ST and their correlates in SA women. Therefore the aim of this study was to objectively measure and report patterns of PA and ST, and examine potential socio-demographic correlates of PA and ST, among SA women in the UK.

Methods: 140 SA women from Cardiff, Wales wore an ActiGraph accelerometer for 7 consecutive days, and anthropometric measurements and self-reported socio-demographic information were taken.

Results: Mean daily moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) was 34.66±21.52 minutes and mean daily ST was 530.20±81.76 minutes; these variables were inversely correlated (Pearson r=-.270, N=140, p<.001). Independent t-tests indicated a significant difference in MVPA between older (≥65 yrs) and younger women (18-64.9 yrs), with older women failing to meet PA guidelines (t=3.101, p<0.05). Women who were overweight or obese had higher levels of both MVPA and ST (t=2.01, p<.001). Multiple linear regression analyses indicated that 19% of the variance in MVPA was explained by age and waist circumference (F(2,138)= 6.84, p<0.002). 34.7% of the sample met PA recommendations when calculated using consecutive 10-minute bouts. There was a significant difference (p<.001) between daily mean ST and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) on weekdays and weekend days with more MVPA on weekdays and more ST on weekends.

Discussion: Results indicate that older SA women perform less MVPA than younger women, and those classified as overweight or obese engage in more MVPA and ST than normal weight women. Differences in weekday and weekend PA and ST have important implications for timing of the implementation of interventions.