Sozial- und Präventivmedizin

, Volume 47, Issue 2, pp 107–115 | Cite as

Assessment of physical activity with a pedometer and its relationship with VO2max among adolescents in Switzerland

  • Pierre-André Michaud
  • Michel Cauderay
  • Françoise Narring
  • Yves Schutz
Original Articles

Summary

Objectives: In the absence of a gold standard, the assessment of physical activity in children remains difficult. To record physical activity with a pedometer and to examine to what extent it is correlated with VO2max.

Methods: Survey on physical activity and fitness; 233 Swiss adolescents aged 11 to 15 carried a pedometer (Pedoboy®) during seven consecutive days. VO2max was estimated through an endurance shuttle run test.

Results: The physical activity recorded by the pedometer did not vary from one day to the other (p>0.05). The physical activity was higher among boys than among girls (p<0.001) and higher among younger adolescents (6th versus 8th grade; p<0.001). The correlation between physical activity and estimated VO2max was 0.30 (p<0.01).

Conclusions: The use of a pedometer to assess physical activity over one entire week is feasible among adolescents. The record provided by the pedometer gives an objective measure of the usual physical activity and, as such, is relatively well correlated with aerobic capacity.

Keywords

Adolescents Survey Physical activity Fitness Pedometer endurance 

Zusammenfassung

Fragestellung: Mangels einer allgemein akzeptierten Wertskala verbleibt die Schätzung der physischen Aktivität der Kinder schwierig. Physische Aktivität mittels eines Pedometers zu messen und feststellen, in welchem Ausmass diese Aktivität mit VO2max in Zusammenhang steht.

Methoden: Untersuchung über physische Aktivität und körperliche Verfassung; 233 schweizerische Jugendliche im Alter von 11 bis 15 Jahren trugen einen Pedometer (Pedoboy®) während sieben aufeinanderfolgenden Tagen. VO2max wurde durch einen Dauerlauftest bewertet.

Resultate: Die vom Pedometer registrierte physische Aktivität änderte sich nicht von einem Tag zum anderen (p>0.05). Die physische Aktivität war bei den jungen Männern höher als bei den jungen Frauen (p<0.001) und höher je jünger die Jugendlichen waren (6. Klassenstufe versus 8. Klassenstufe; p<0.01). Der Zusammenhang zwischen physischer Aktivität und geschätzte VO2max war 0.30 (p<0.01).

Schlussfolgerungen: Der Gebrauch eines Pedometers, um während einer ganzen Woche die physische Aktivität Jugendlicher zu schätzen, ist durchaus möglich. Die vom Pedometer registrierten Daten geben einen objektiven Anhaltspunkt für die normale physische Aktivität und stimmen mit der Aerobic-Kapazität einigermassen überein.

Résumé

Objectifs: En l'absence d'une méthode de référence acceptée par tous, l'évaluation de l'activité physique chez les enfants est difficile. Evaluer l'activité physique à l'aide d'un pédomètre et analyser la corrélation entre activité physique et VO2max.

Méthodes: Enquête sur l'activité et la condition physique; 233 adolescents suisses de 11 à 15 ans ont porté un pédomètre (Pedoboy®) pendant sept jours consécutifs. La VO2max a été calculée grâce au test d'endurance de course navette.

Résultats: L'activité physique enregistrée par le pédomètre ne varie pas d'un jour à l'autre (p>0.05). Le niveau d'activité physique est plus élevé chez les garçons que chez les filles (p<0.001) et parmi les adolescents les plus jeunes (comparaison entre la 6ème année et la 8ème année; p<0.001). Le coefficient de corrélation entre l'activité physique mesurée par le pédomètre et la VO2max est de 0.30 (p<0.01).

Conclusions: Il est possible d'utiliser le pédomètre chez les adolescents pour évaluer l'activité physique sur une durée d'une semaine entière. Les données enregistrées par le pédomètre donnent une mesure objective du niveau d'activité et sont relativement bien corrélées avec la capacité aérobie.

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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pierre-André Michaud
    • 1
  • Michel Cauderay
    • 1
  • Françoise Narring
    • 1
  • Yves Schutz
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute for Social and Preventive MedicineUniversity of LausanneLausanne
  2. 2.Institute of PhysiologyUniversity of LausanneLausanne

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