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Title: What they say and what they do: comparing physical activity across U.S., England, and the Netherlands
Authors: Kapteyn, Arie
Banks, James
Hamer, Mark
Smith, James P.
Steptoe, Andrew
van Soest, Arthur
Koster, Annemarie
Htay Wah, Saw
Keywords: Physical activity
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: © The Authors. Published by BMJ Publishing Group
Citation: KAPTEYN, A. ... et al., 2018. What they say and what they do: comparing physical activity across U.S., England, and the Netherlands. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 72 (6), pp.471-476.
Abstract: Background: Physical Activity (PA) is important for maintaining health, but there are fundamental unanswered questions on how best it should be measured. Methods: We measured PA in the Netherlands (n=748), United States (n=540), and England (n=254), both by a 7 day wrist worn accelerometer and by self-reports. The self-reports included a global self-report on PA; and a report on the frequency of vigorous, moderate, and mild activity. Results: The self-reported data showed only minor differences across countries and across groups within countries (such as different age groups or working versus non-working respondents). The accelerometer data, however, showed dramatic differences; the Dutch appeared to be much more physically active than Americans and English (For instance, among respondents 50 or older only 5% of Americans and 3% of English were active enough to make it into the highest activity quintile of the Dutch distribution). In addition, accelerometer data showed a sharp decline of PA with age, while no such pattern was observed in self-reports. The differences between objective measures and self-reports occurred for both types of self-reports. Conclusion: It is clear that self-reports and objective measures tell vastly different stories suggesting that across countries people use different response scales when answering questions about how physically active they are.
Description: This paper was published in the journal Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1136/jech-2017-209703.
Sponsor: This research was funded by grants from the National Institute on Aging including R-37AG25529 to James Smith at Rand and R01AG20717 to Arie Kapteyn at USC. Funding for ELSA was provided by the National Institute of Aging (R01AG017644) and a consortium of UK government departments coordinated by the Economic and Social Research Council.
Version: Accepted for publication
DOI: 10.1136/jech-2017-209703
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/28095
Publisher Link: https://doi.org/10.1136/jech-2017-209703
ISSN: 0143-005X
Appears in Collections:Closed Access (Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences)

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