Physical activity levels in adults and elderly from triaxial and uniaxial accelerometry. The Tromsø Study
AuthorSagelv, Edvard Hamnvik; Ekelund, Ulf; Pedersen, Sigurd; Brage, Søren; Hansen, Bjørge Hermann; Johansson, Jonas; Grimsgaard, Sameline; Nordström, Anna; Horsch, Alexander; Hopstock, Laila Arnesdatter; Morseth, Bente
Methods - This cross-sectional study included 5918 women and men aged 40–84 years who participated in the seventh wave of the Tromsø Study (2015–16). The participants wore an ActiGraph wGT3X-BT accelerometer attached to the hip for 24 hours per day over seven consecutive days. Accelerometry variables were expressed as volume (counts·minute-1 and steps·day-1) and as minutes per day in sedentary, light physical activity and moderate and vigorous physical activity (MVPA).
Results - From triaxial accelerometry data, 22% (95% confidence interval (CI): 21–23%) of the participants fulfilled the current global recommendations for physical activity (≥150 minutes of MVPA per week in ≥10-minute bouts), while 70% (95% CI: 69–71%) accumulated ≥150 minutes of non-bouted MVPA per week. When analysing uniaxial data, 18% fulfilled the current recommendations (i.e. 20% difference compared with triaxial data), and 55% (95% CI: 53–56%) accumulated ≥150 minutes of non-bouted MVPA per week. We observed approximately 100 less minutes of sedentary time and 90 minutes more of light physical activity from triaxial data compared with uniaxial data (p<0.001).
Conclusion - The prevalence estimates of sufficiently active adults and elderly are more than three times higher (22% vs. 70%) when comparing triaxial bouted and non-bouted MVPA. Physical activity estimates are highly dependent on accelerometry data processing criteria and on different definitions of physical activity recommendations, which may influence prevalence estimates and tracking of physical activity patterns over time.