Levels of physical activity, physical fitness and their relationship in the Northern Ireland health and activity survey

D MacAuley, EE McCrum, G Stott, AE Evans, RP Gamble, B McRoberts, CAG Boreham, TR Trinick, K Sweeney

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    Abstract

    The aim of the study was to describe the physical activity and physical fitness profile of the population of Northern Ireland and to explore the relationship between physical activity and physical fitness. This was a cross sectional population study using a two stage probability sample of the adult population of Northern Ireland (aged 16+). The main outcome measures were physical activity profile based on computer assisted interview. Physical fitness using estimation of (V) over dotO(2)max by extrapolation from submaximal oxygen uptake while walking on a motor driven treadmill. We found that males were more vigorously active than females (M 21 %:F6 %) with a steep gradient of decreasing activity with age: 49 % (M 52 %:F46 %) were regularly active up to at least moderate intensity. Males (mean predicted (V) over dotO(2)max 44.4 mls/kg/min; 16-74 years) were fitter than females (mean predicted (V) over dotO(2)max 34.0 mls/kg/min; 16-74 years) and while there was a decline in predicted (V) over dot O(2)max with age, there was wide variation within each age category. There was no statistically significant relationship between current or past activity and fitness after adjustment for possible confounding factors, with the exception of a relationship between fitness and activity in males so that the difference between no activity and habitual Vigorous activity in predicted (V) over dotO(2)max was 4.4 mls/kg/min (10.1 %).
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)503-511
    JournalInternational Journal of Sports Medicine
    Volume19
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 1998

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    MacAuley, D., McCrum, EE., Stott, G., Evans, AE., Gamble, RP., McRoberts, B., ... Sweeney, K. (1998). Levels of physical activity, physical fitness and their relationship in the Northern Ireland health and activity survey. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 19(7), 503-511.