How much walking should be advocated for good health in adolescent girls?

Mhairi MacDonald, Samantha G. Fawkner, Ailsa Niven

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Background: It is currently not known how much walking should be advocated for good health in adolescent girls. The aim of this study was therefore to recommend health referenced standards for step defined physical activity relating to appropriate health criterion/indicators in a group of adolescent girls. Method: Two hundred and thirty adolescent girls aged between 12-15years volunteered to take part in the study. Each participant undertook measurements (BMI, waist circumference, % body fat and blood pressure) to define health status. Activity data were collected by pedometer and used to assess daily step counts and accumulated daily activity time over seven consecutive days. Results: Individuals classified as ‘healthy’ did not take significantly more steps·day−1 nor spend more time in moderate intensity activity than individuals classified as at health risk or with poor health profiles. Conclusion: ‘Healthy’ adolescent girls do not walk significantly more in term of steps·day−1 or time spent in activity than girls classified as ‘unhealthy’. This could suggest that adolescent girls may not walk enough to stratify health and health related outcomes and as a result the data could not be used to inform an appropriate step guideline for this population.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-66
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physical Activity and Health
Issue number1
Early online date6 Sep 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes


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