According to a Swedish study, adults seem to overestimate their levels of physical activity.
Researchers from Karolinska Institute in Stockholm assessed time spent in moderate or vigorous activity over a 7-day period in 1114 adult volunteers. They used an accurate measurement technique, accelerometry, which uses a small device attached to the body that detects any movement. The results showed that only 52% of adults achieved 30 minutes of moderate or vigorous activity per day, as recommended by national and international organisations. Furthermore, only 1% achieved these 30 minutes from 3 or more bouts of at least 10 minutes, which is a more specific recommendation developed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Sports Medicine. Men were generally more active than women, and both age and a higher body mass index were associated with lower levels of activity.
The researchers concluded that the objective measure of activity produced lower levels than those obtained from self-reported diaries, suggesting that people tend to exaggerate their participation in physical activity.
For more information, see
Hagströmer et al (2007). Physical activity and inactivity in an adult population assessed by accelerometry. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, DOI: 10.1249/mss.0b013e3180a76de5
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