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A Journal on Sports Medicine


Official Journal of the Italian Sports Medicine Federation
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Medicina dello Sport 2014 September;67(3):423-35

language: English, Italian

Effect of physical activity on body composition changes in young adults. A four-year longitudinal study

Kayihan G. 1, 2

1 Personal Nutrition Training Center, Physical Fitness Department, Ankara, Turkey;
2 Unaffiliated Researcher, Oxford, UK


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AIM: The purpose of this study was to determine the change in body composition and to investigate the relationship between body composition levels and participation in regular physical activity (PA) in young adults over a four year period.
METHODS: Body height, body weight, skinfold thicknesses and body fat percentage (BF%) of 94 volunteers were measured at age 18 then again at age 22. Skinfold thicknesses were measured from nine different anatomical regions with a Holtain caliper. Body density was calculated from the formula of Jackson-Pollock seven site method and then the level of BF% was determined using the Siri Equation. PA level was assessed by the short version of The International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) every year over the four-year period.
RESULTS: Significant differences were found between the results of time point tests over the four-year period for body height, body weight, body mass index (BMI), BF%, pectoral, calf, subscapular, suprailiac, thigh, triceps, biceps and midaxillar skinfold thicknesses (P<0.05). There are significant negative linear correlations (P<0.05) between the average PA score over four year and the percentage increases in body weight, BMI, pectoral, suprailiac, abdominal, thigh, subscapular, calf, triceps, midaxillar, sum of skinfold thicknesses and BF% over four years.
CONCLUSION: The body composition levels of the young adults displayed age-related variation. Participation in regular PA was shown to decrease in the speed at which fat was gained and to have a positive effect on body composition levels.

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