Research Study Abstract

Adolescents' perceptions of the objective physical activity monitoring process: A qualitative exploration

  • Presented on 2015

Background: Research into participants’ perceptions of the physical activity measurement process is sparse. The primary aim was to explore adolescents’ perceptions of pedometers and investigate their physical activity behaviours.

Methods: The sample included 123 adolescents (14.7 ± 0.5 years) from three secondary schools in NSW, Australia. Schools were randomized to one of three pedometer protocols: i) daily sealed pedometer group, ii) unsealed pedometer group and iii) weekly sealed pedometer group. Participants wore pedometers (Yamax CW700) and accelerometers (Actigraph GT3X+) simultaneously for seven days. Participants were grouped based on their activity level (Low, Medium or High active). Six focus groups, each involving four participants were completed.

Results: A large proportion across all groups purposely changed their levels of physical activity during the monitoring process and believed their peers did as well. The majority (87.5%) of participants reported shaking their pedometers to increase their step counts. In both boys and girls, more participants in the medium and high active groups reported changing their activity patterns than the low active groups.

Conclusion: Over 60% of participants reported changing their activity pattern during the measurement period. Participants in the Low active groups reported less reactivity and tampering than the Medium and High active groups.

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