Objective: Health research often focuses on moderate and vigorous intensity physical activity while neglecting low-intensity habitual activities. Our aim was to understand habitual physical activity in women from a transitioning economy using a physical activity monitor. Methods: This study investigated physical activity in 68 healthy premenopausal women (age 18–46) in rural Poland using FitBit One activity trackers for 1 week. Standard anthropometric techniques were used to measure height, weight, and body fat. Daily physical activity data were analyzed for step counts as well as duration and intensity. Results: This sample of rural Polish women traveled a mean of 8428 (SD = 2650) steps per day. Time spent lightly active, fairly active, and very active were measured as 337.1 (SD = 87.8), 19.6 (SD = 30.5), and 6.7 (SD = 8.6) minutes per day, respectively. Total time active and time spent lightly active were associated with daily steps (P < 0.001 for both), and time lightly active increased with age (P = 0.02). No other significant relationships were observed between physical activity measures and BMI, age, or body fat. Conclusions: In this sample, women spend a significant amount of time engaged in light-intensity physical activity and travel a relatively high number of steps per day. Our data suggest that in this population, total daily activity does not depend on age in women between 18 and 46. We suggest that measurement methods which include low-intensity activity may better characterize habitual physical activity in women who are expected to be performing large amounts of domestic labor.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics