‘This is timely and will be of special interest to health service managers and members of primary care groups because the successful promotion of regular physical activity is a challenge contained in the strategy of Our Healthier Nation and is a candidate for incorporation into health improvement programmes and the service framework for coronary heart disease’ — Health Service Journal This crisply written and thought-provoking book integrates theories and studies from several disciplines to examine what is known about physical activity and health.
Chapter 5: Measuring Physical Activity
Measuring Physical Activity
Physical activity is difficult to measure because it is a complex behavior. It is, in fact, an entire class of behaviors that theoretically includes all bodily movement, ranging from fidgeting to participating in triathlons. The basic dimensions are commonly referred to by the acronym FITT: frequency, intensity, time, and type. Exercise recommendations are often given in FITT, and each dimension of FITT may affect different health outcomes.
For some purposes, it is desirable to assess all the FITT dimensions. You would need to assess at least frequency, intensity, and time to determine how many people in a population are meeting the Centers for Disease Control/American College of Sports Medicine recommendations of 30 minutes of daily moderate physical activity (see Chapter 4). ...