Advertisement

Frequently Reported Activities by Intensity for U.S. Adults

The American Time Use Survey

      Background

      Knowing the most-frequently reported physical activities can inform intervention strategies, enhance questionnaire design, and inform objective monitor calibration studies.

      Purpose

      To determine the 10 most-frequently reported nonwork and nonsleep activities by intensity (sedentary, light, moderate, vigorous) in American Time Use Survey (ATUS) adult respondents.

      Methods

      The ATUS is a nationally representative telephone-based survey that captures activities that people recall doing during the preceding 24 hours. ATUS databases from 2003 to 2008 were combined and matched to previously published MET intensity values. Prevalences were rank ordered by weighted frequency within MET-defined intensity categories. Analyses took place in spring 2010.

      Results

      Data from 79,652 ATUS respondents, all aged ≥20 years, were considered. Overall, the most-frequently reported nonwork, nonsleep sedentary (1.0≤MET<1.6) behavior was eating and drinking (95.6%), followed by watching TV/movies (80.1%); the most-frequently reported light activities (1.6≤MET<3.0) were washing, dressing, and grooming oneself (78.9%), followed by driving a car, truck, or motorcycle (71.4%); the most-frequently reported moderate activities (3.0≤MET<6.0) were food and drink preparation (25.7%) followed by lawn, garden, and houseplant care (10.6%); and the most-frequently reported vigorous activities were using cardiovascular equipment (2.2%) and running (1.1%).

      Conclusions

      On any given day, most U.S. adults reported performing predominantly sedentary and light activities. The greatest prevalence for reported moderate activities was food and drink preparation for both men (12.8%) and women (37.63%), and overall only 5.07% report any vigorous-intensity activity.
      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to American Journal of Preventive Medicine
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      References

        • Shelley K.J.
        Developing the American Time Use Survey activity classification system.
        Mon Labor Rev. 2005; 128: 3-15
        • Ainsworth B.E.
        • Haskell W.L.
        • Whitt M.C.
        • et al.
        Compendium of Physical Activities: an update of activity codes and MET intensities.
        Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2000; 32: S498-S504
        • Tudor-Locke C.
        • Washington T.L.
        • Ainsworth B.E.
        • Troiano R.P.
        Linking the American Time Use Survey (ATUS) and the Compendium of Physical Activities: methods and rationale.
        J Phys Act Health. 2009; 6: 347-353
        • Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee
        Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee Report, 2008.
        USDHHS, Washington DC2008
        • Pate R.R.
        • O'Neill J.R.
        • Lobelo F.
        The evolving definition of “sedentary”.
        Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 2008; 36: 173-178
        • Korn E.L.
        • Graubard B.I.
        Analysis of health surveys.
        John Wiley, New York1999
        • Marshall A.
        • Miller Y.
        • Burton N.
        • Brown W.
        Measuring total and domain-specific sitting: a study of reliability and validity.
        Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2010; 42: 1094-1102
        • Matthews C.E.
        Calibration of accelerometer output for adults.
        Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2005; 37: S512-S522
      1. Tudor-Locke C, Ainsworth BE, Washington TL, Troiano RP. Assigning metabolic equivalent (MET) values to the 2002 Census Occupational Classification System. J Phys Act Health:In press.

      Linked Article

      • Correction
        American Journal of Preventive MedicineVol. 41Issue 2
        • Preview
          Tudor-Locke C, Johnson WD, Katzmarzyk PT. Frequently reported activities by intensity for U.S. adults: the American Time Use Survey. Am J Prev Med 2010;39(4):e13–e20.
        • Full-Text
        • PDF