HALO Affiliate Investigator and HALO Alumna Dr. Rachel Colley and HALO Director Dr. Mark Tremblay are among the authors on a paper, “Accelerometer-measured moderate-to-vigorous physical activity of Canadian adults, 2007 to 2017,” that was recently published in Health Reports.

The study shows that physical activity in Canadian adults, as measured by an accelerometer, has remained low and stable between 2007 and 2017. Canadian adults accumulate the majority of their moderate-to-vigorous physical activity at a moderate intensity and in bouts of less than 10 minutes.

Citation details and a summary of the paper are below.

Janine Clarke, Rachel Colley, Ian Janssen and Mark S. Tremblay. Accelerometer-measured moderate-to-vigorous physical activity of Canadian adults, 2007 to 2017 . Statistics Canada, Catalogue no. 82-003-X • Health Reports, Vol. 30, no. 8, pp. 3-10, August 2019.


Background. Surveillance of physical activity among Canadian adults has typically relied on questionnaire-based data, which have many limitations. The Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS) has been collecting objective, accelerometer-based physical activity data on a nationally representative sample of Canadian adults since 2007. Methods. Data are from Cycle 1 (2007 to 2009), Cycle 2 (2009 to 2011), Cycle 3 (2012 to 2013), Cycle 4 (2014 to 2015) and Cycle 5 (2016 to 2017) of the CHMS. The study sample included adults aged 18 to 79 years (Cycle 1: n = 2,952; Cycle 2: n = 2,959; Cycle 3: n = 2,517; Cycle 4: n = 2,390; Cycle 5: n = 2,355). Average daily minutes of moderate physical activity (MPA), vigorous physical activity (VPA) and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPAALL) were derived from minute-by-minute accelerometer data captured over seven consecutive days. MVPA accumulated in bouts of at least 10 minutes (MVPABOUTS) were also calculated, and adherence to the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines was assessed. Results. No significant linear trend was observed in accelerometer-measured MVPA from 2007 to 2017. According to the most recent cycle of CHMS data (2016 and 2017), Canadian adults accumulated an average of 26 minutes of MVPAALL per day, less than half of which (12 minutes per day, on average) was accumulated in bouts of at least 10 minutes. Average daily VPA was less than five minutes. About 3% of Canadian adults accumulated no MVPA at all, while approximately 36% did not accumulate any MVPA in bouts of at least 10 minutes; 16% of Canadian adults met the current physical activity guidelines of 150 minutes of MVPA per week in bouts of at least 10 minutes. Interpretation. These results may be important to governments and other organizations for initiatives geared toward increasing physical activity levels in Canadian adults.

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