An analysis of physical activity and sedentary behaviour using accelerometers in a mixed student population in the United Arab Emirates
ISPAH ePoster Library. Dalibalta S. Oct 15, 2018; 225263; 315
Sarah Dalibalta
Sarah Dalibalta
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Abstract Physical inactivity is linked to cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Data suggests that 58% of the UAE population is physically inactive (Malik et al., 2007). The aim was to obtain the first dataset that quantifies physical activity and sedentary behavior. Upon ethical approval, 125 university students participated in this study. We obtained an accurate measure of body fat, muscle mass, bone mass, and BMI. Subjects were also asked to wear an accelerometer device (ActiGraph) for 7 days. Participants were divided into the “normal” weight and “overweight/obese” cohorts. Summary measures of physiological parameters as well as physical activity values were compared using a sample T-test. According to BMI, 14 females and 25 males were overweight/obese with an average BMI of 29.9kg/m2. Their fat percentage was 29.3% compared to 22.8% in the normal BMI group (p≤ 0.05). Although their BMI was significantly higher, they also had a higher muscle mass and expended more energy per day (602.8 versus 293.9 kcal/day)(p≤ 0.05). Time spent in sedentary activity was similar in both groups with an average of 8374 minutes. This translates to 85.6% of their time spent sedentary. Their physical activity was primarily in the light range (10.9%), with no significant differences in their moderate or vigorous intensity exercise. Average MVPA values were similar (342.7 minutes) as was their step counts per day (7564.3 steps). This demonstrates that this young UAE population is sedentary with an alarming average of 12.4 hours a day. Regardless of BMI, subjects were not meeting the minimum recommendations of exercise.
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