Research Study Abstract

Relationship between Physical Activity, Body Composition, and Movement Skills in Adult Women in Puerto Rico

  • Presented on May 30, 2014

Background: Physical activity (PA) is an important healthy lifestyle behavior that is usually lower among women, and body fat a fitness component usually higher among women compared with men. It is expected that people with higher level of movement skills will engage in more daily physical activities. The association between physical activity, body composition, and movement skills among adult women in Puerto Rico (PR) has not been documented.

Purpose: To evaluate physical activity (PA), body composition, and movement skills in adult women in PR, and determine relationships between these variables.

Methods: Forty women between 50- 60 year old completed a PA assessment with an ActiGraph GT1M accelerometer attached to an elastic belt worn around the waist for 7 consecutive days, body composition (height, weight, and waist and hip circumferences), and a battery of movement skill tests (vertical jump, softball throw, 20m walk following a straight line). A total movement skill score was determined based on the subjective evaluation of balance, coordination, speed, and technical aspects of each activity. Spearman correlations and regression analyses when appropriate were used to detect associations between variables.

Results: Participants did not comply with the current physical activity recommendation (20.9±15.0 min/day of moderate to vigorous PA [MVPA], and 6,067±2995 steps/day), and had more than 5 hours/day of sedentary time. Body mass index (BMI) and waist to hip ratio were 28.8±7.2 kg/m2, and 0.87±0.1 cm, respectively; classifying the group as overweight or obese. Vertical jump and softball throw distance were 6.5±1.8 inches, and 44.1±14.3 feet, respectively; classifying the group in the low category. Movement skill score was negatively correlated with BMI (r= -0.37, P= 0.02), and positively correlated with steps/day (r= 0.35, P= 0.04) and MVPA (r= 0.28, P=0.07).

Conclusion: Women participants in this study did not comply with current PA recommendation. The positive correlation between PA and movement skills, and the inverse association between movement skills and BMI highlight the importance of developing adequate movement skills to facilitate engagement in daily physical activities and a healthier body composition among adult women in PR.

Supported in part by Title V grant P031S100037 from the Department of Education.

Presented at

ACSM 2014 Annual Meeting