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Weekly physical activity patterns of university students: Are athletes more active than non-athletes?

Clemente, F.M.C. ; Nikolaidis, PTN ; Martins, F. ; Mendes, R.

SpringerPlus Vol. 5, Nº 1, pp. 1808 - 1808, October, 2016.

ISSN (print): 2193-1801
ISSN (online):

Journal Impact Factor: 0,982 (in 2016)

Digital Object Identifier: 10.1186/s40064-016-3508-3

The aim of the present study was to compare weekly physical activity (PA) and obesity-related markers in athlete and non-athlete university students. One hundred and twenty six university students (53 males, 20.46 2.04 years old, and 73 females. 19.69 1.32 years old) participated in this study. Participants were fitted with a tri-axial accelerometer (ActiGraph wGT3X-BT, Shalimar, FL, USA) to assess the daily PA. Anthropometric measures of height, weight, BMI and %fat mass were determined with a stadiometer and an electronic scale. The comparison indicated that male and female athletes had a significant lower percentage of body fat than did non-athletes (p-value = 0.001; ES = 0.043). Athletes spent significantly more time in light PA than did non-athletes (p-value = 0.003; ES = 0.024). Female athletes spent significantly less time in sedentary mode than did non-athletes (p-value = 0.040; ES = 0.008). On the other hand, female athletes spent significantly more time in light PA (p-value = 0.003; ES = 0.017) and vigorous PA (p-value = 0.001; ES = 0.086) than did non-athletes. Despite some statistical differences with minimal effect size, the results of this study suggested proximity between PA levels of athletes and non-athletes, mainly in the case of sedentary behaviour. No significant effects were found in the variances of PA tested in this study.