Skip to main content

Accelerometer-based sleep behavior and activity levels in student athletes in comparison to student non-athletes

Abstract

Purpose

The comparison between athletes and non-athletes for sleep, sedentary time or incidental daily activity is yet to be examined in a student population. Therefore, the purpose of the current study was to measure sleep and activity levels using accelerometry in athlete and non-athlete university students.

Methods

19 students on university athletic scholarships (11 female/8 male, age 20 ± 2, body mass index 24 ± 3) and 21 student non-athletes (11 female/10 male, age 21 ± 3, body mass index 25 ± 4) volunteered to wear an activity monitor over a 7-day period to measure general daily activity levels and sleep. All general daily activity, excluding time spent exercise training, was monitored and minutes spent at different activity zones as well as step count, distance covered and calories burnt were used for analysis between groups. Measures of sleep quality and quantity were also compared between groups.

Results

Significant differences were found between groups for step count and distance covered (p < 0.05); however, all activity variables were associated with small to moderate effect sizes, with the athlete group being more physically active than the non-athlete group. There was a small effect size associated with longer sleep time in the non-athlete group (476 vs 456 min, d = 0.39) and also poorer sleep behavior scores in the athlete group (d = −0.39).

Conclusion

Student athletes exhibit more incidental activity and less sedentary time than student non-athletes. There was a trend for student athletes to sleep less and display poorer sleep behavior than student non-athletes.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1

References

  1. Trost SG, O’Neil M (2013) Clinical use of objective measures of physical activity. Br J Sports Med 48

  2. Sargent C, Lastella M, Halson SL, Roach GD (2016) The validity of activity monitors for measuring sleep in elite athletes. J Sci Med Sport 19(10):848–853

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. Burton C, McKinstry B, Tătar AS, Serrano-Blanco A, Pagliari C, Wolters M (2013) Activity monitoring in patients with depression: a systematic review. J Affect Disord 145(1):21–28

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. Ferguson T, Rowlands AV, Olds T, Maher C (2015) The validity of consumer-level, activity monitors in healthy adults worn in free-living conditions: a cross-sectional study. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 12(1):42

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  5. Tan T-H, Gochoo M, Chen K-H, Jean F-R, Chen Y-F, Shih F-J, Ho CF Indoor activity monitoring system for elderly using RFID and Fitbit Flex wristband. Paper presented at the International Conference on Biomedical and Health Informatics, Las Areanas, Spain

  6. Henker B, Whalen CK, Jamner LD, Delfino RJ (2002) Anxiety, affect, and activity in teenagers: monitoring daily life with electronic diaries. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 41(6):660–670

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. Jones RA, Hinkley T, Okely AD, Salmon J (2013) Tracking physical activity and sedentary behavior in childhood: a systematic review. Am J Prev Med 44(6):651–658

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. Lastella M, Lovell GP, Sargent C (2014) Athletes’ precompetitive sleep behaviour and its relationship with subsequent precompetitive mood and performance. Eur J Sport Sci 14(sup1):S123–S130

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  9. O’Donnell S, Driller M (2017) Sleep-hygiene education improves sleep indices in elite female athletes. Int J Exerc Sci 10(4):522–530

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  10. Vitale JA, Bonato M, Galasso L, La Torre A, Merati G, Montaruli A, Roveda E, Carandente F (2017) Sleep quality and high intensity interval training at two different times of day: a crossover study on the influence of the chronotype in male collegiate soccer players. Chronobiol Int 34(2):260–268

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  11. Vitale JA, Roveda E, Montaruli A, Galasso L, Weydahl A, Caumo A, Carandente F (2015) Chronotype influences activity circadian rhythm and sleep: differences in sleep quality between weekdays and weekend. Chronobiol Int 32(3):405–415

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. Bringard A, Denis R, Belluye N, Perrey S (2006) Effects of compression tights on calf muscle oxygenation and venous pooling during quiet resting in supine and standing positions. J Sports Med Phys Fit 46(4):548

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. Boullosa DA, Abreu L, Varela-Sanz A, Mujika I (2013) Do olympic athletes train as in the paleolithic era? Sports Med 43(10):909–917

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. Keating XD, Guan J, Piñero JC, Bridges DM (2005) A meta-analysis of college students’ physical activity behaviors. J Am Coll Health 54(2):116–126

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  15. Halson S (2013) Sleep and the elite athlete. Sports Sci Exch 26(113):1–4

    Google Scholar 

  16. Rattray B, Argus C, Martin K, Northey J, Driller M (2015) Is it time to turn our attention toward central mechanisms for post-exertional recovery strategies and performance? Front Physiol 6:79

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  17. Chennaoui M, Arnal PJ, Sauvet F, Léger D (2015) Sleep and exercise: a reciprocal issue? Sleep Med Rev 20:59–72

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  18. Roveda E, Montaruli A, Calogiuri G, Carandente F, Sciolla C, Angeli A (2011) Effects of endurance and strength acute exercise on night sleep quality: original research article. Int Sportmed J 12(3):113–124

    Google Scholar 

  19. Sargent C, Lastella M, Halson SL, Roach GD (2014) The impact of training schedules on the sleep and fatigue of elite athletes. Chronobiol Int 31(10):1160–1168

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  20. Juliff LE, Halson SL, Peiffer JJ (2014) Understanding sleep disturbance in athletes prior to important competitions. J Sci Med Sport 18(1):13–18. doi:10.1016/j.jsams.2014.02.007

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  21. Fullagar HH, Duffield R, Skorski S, Coutts AJ, Julian R, Meyer T (2015) Sleep and recovery in team sport: current sleep-related issues facing professional team-sport athletes. Int J Sports Physiol Perform 10(8):950–957

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  22. Lastella M, Roach GD, Halson SL, Sargent C (2015) Sleep/wake behaviours of elite athletes from individual and team sports. Eur J Sport Sci 15(2):94–100

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  23. Harris A, Gundersen H, Andreassen PM, Thun E, Bjorvatn B, Pallesen S (2017) A comparative study of sleep and mood between young elite athletes and age-matched controls. J Phys Act Health 14(6):1–24

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Dennis J, Dawson B, Heasman J, Rogalski B, Robey E (2016) Sleep patterns and injury occurrence in elite Australian footballers. J Sci Med Sport 19(2):1–4

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Diaz KM, Krupka DJ, Chang MJ, Peacock J, Ma Y, Goldsmith J, Schwartz JE, Davidson KW (2015) Fitbit®: an accurate and reliable device for wireless physical activity tracking. Int J Cardiol 185:138–140

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  26. Sushames A, Edwards A, Thompson F, McDermott R, Gebel K (2016) Validity and reliability of Fitbit Flex for step count, moderate to vigorous physical activity and activity energy expenditure. PLoS One 11(9):e0161224

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  27. Mantua J, Gravel N, Spencer R (2016) Reliability of sleep measures from four personal health monitoring devices compared to research-based actigraphy and polysomnography. Sensors 16(5):646

    Article  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  28. Cohen J (1988) Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences. Lawrence Erlbaum, Hillsdale, N.J

    Google Scholar 

  29. Batterham A, Hopkins W (2006) Making meaningful inferences about magnitudes. Int J Sports Physiol Perform 1(50):50–57

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  30. Deliens T, Deforche B, De Bourdeaudhuij I, Clarys P (2015) Determinants of physical activity and sedentary behaviour in university students: a qualitative study using focus group discussions. BMC Public Health 15(1):201

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  31. Carney CE, Edinger JD, Meyer B, Lindman L, Istre T (2006) Daily activities and sleep quality in college students. Chronobiol Int 23(3):623–637

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  32. Shephard RJ (2003) Limits to the measurement of habitual physical activity by questionnaires. Br J Sports Med 37(3):197–206

    CAS  Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  33. Leeder J, Glaister M, Pizzoferro K, Dawson J, Pedlar C (2012) Sleep duration and quality in elite athletes measured using wristwatch actigraphy. J Sports Sci 30(6):541–545

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  34. Bruno E, Roveda E, Vitale J, Montaruli A, Caumo A, Carandente F (2015) Circadian rhythm of activity levels: influence of chronotype. In: Annual Congress of European College of Sport Science, 2015. European College of Sport Science, pp 155–156

  35. Roveda E, Vitale J, Montaruli A, Galasso L, Carandente F, Caumo A (2017) Predicting the actigraphy-based acrophase using the Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire (MEQ) in college students of North Italy. Chronobiol Int 34(5):1–12

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Lastella M, Roach GD, Halson SL, Sargent C (2016) The chronotype of elite athletes. J Hum Kinet 54(1):219–225

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Matthew W Driller.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

There are no conflicts of interest to declare.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in the current study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Appendix

Appendix

See Table 5.

Table 5 The Athlete Sleep Behavior Questionnaire (ASBQ)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Driller, M.W., Dixon, Z.T. & Clark, M.I. Accelerometer-based sleep behavior and activity levels in student athletes in comparison to student non-athletes. Sport Sci Health 13, 411–418 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11332-017-0373-6

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11332-017-0373-6

Keywords

  • Fitbit
  • Sleep quality
  • Sedentary
  • Active living