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The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including by researchers from the Department of Computer & Information Sciences involved in mathematically structured programming, similarity and metric search, computer security, software systems, combinatronics and digital health.

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Effect of urbanization on objectively measured physical activity levels, sedentary time, and indices of adiposity in Kenyan adolescents

Ojiambo, R and Easton, C and Casajus, J.A. and Konstabel, K and Thairu, K and Anjila, E and Reilly, John J and Pitsiladis, Y.P (2012) Effect of urbanization on objectively measured physical activity levels, sedentary time, and indices of adiposity in Kenyan adolescents. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 9 (1). pp. 115-123. ISSN 1543-3080

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Abstract

Background: Urbanization affects lifestyles in the developing world but no studies have assessed the impact on objectively measured physical activity in children and adolescents from sub-Saharan Africa. Purpose: To compare objectively measured habitual physical activity, sedentary time, and indices of adiposity in adolescents from rural and urban areas of Kenya. Methods: Physical activity and sedentary time were assessed by accelerometry for 5 consecutive days in 97 (50 female and 47 male) rural and 103 (52 female and 51 male) urban adolescents (mean age 13 ± 1 years). Body Mass Index (BMI) and BMI z-scores were used to assess adiposity. Results: Rural males spent more time in moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) compared with urban males (68 ± 22 vs. 50 ± 17 min, respectively; P < .001). Similarly, Rural females spent more time in MVPA compared with urban females (62 ± 20 vs. 37 ± 20 min, respectively; P < .001). Furthermore, there were significant differences in daily sedentary time between rural and urban subjects. Residence (rural vs. urban) significantly (P < .001) influenced BMI z-score (R2 = .46). Conclusion: Rural Kenyan adolescents are significantly more physically active (and less sedentary) and have lower indices of adiposity compared with urban adolescents and this is a likely reflection of the impact of urbanization on lifestyle in Kenya.