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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 December;67(4):603-15


language: English, Italian

Association between resting metabolic rate and objectively measured physical activity in South African adolescents: the PAHL study

Wushe S. N., Moss S. J., Monyeki M. A.

Physical Activity, Sport and Recreation, North‑West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


AIM: Behaviour established in adolescence is often carried into adulthood. This study aims to identify habitual physical activity (PA) patterns and energy expenditure in 15-16-year old adolescents as well as determine the association between resting metabolic rate (RMR) and objectively determined PA in 15-16-year old adolescents.
METHODS: Adolescents (29 boys, 32 girls) from the on-going five year Physical Activity and Health Longitudinal Study (PAHLS; 2010-2014) were included in the study. RMR was measured by indirect calorimetry following an overnight fast. PA was assessed over seven days using the Actiheart® (Cambridge, UK). Data analysis consisted of independent t-tests, Mann-Whitney U-test and multiple regression analysis using SPSS version 20.
RESULTS: Girls spent significantly (P<0.05) more minutes/day in moderate-to-vigorous PA, than boys. Boys had significantly higher (P<0.05) RMR and total energy expenditure than girls. However, girls attained significantly higher (P=0.022) activity energy expenditure values than boys. After adjustment for confounding factors in multiple regression, it is evident that moderate and vigorous PA had a large positive effect on RMR, standardised ß=0.395 and 4.070 respectively. Additionally, regression analysis between RMR and moderate PA yielded an r2=0.46 (P<0.05).
CONCLUSION: The present results show a significant direct relationship between RMR and PA. Standardised ß=0.395 indicates that as moderate PA increases by one standard deviation, RMR increases by 0.395 standard deviations. An r2 of 0.46 suggests that moderate PA accounts for almost 50% of the variation of RMR in adolescents.

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