Author

Nathan Myers

Date of Award

2012

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Sedentary behavior, defined as activities with an energy cost below 1.6 metabolic equivalents (METs), is associated with chronic health risks and mortality even in active individuals. Time spent at sedentary MET levels by Messiah College collegiate distance runners and recreationally active students was documented and analyzed to determine whether competitive athletes accrue more sedentary time than recreationally active students. In this descriptive cross-sectional study, 22 competitive distance runners and 26 recreationally active students wore SenseWearTM armbands (SWA; BodyMedia, Inc.) continuously for seven days of free-living activity. Male (n = 10) and female (n = 12) distance runners were Messiah College track athletes in distance events (800m through 10000m) and who reported running more than 30 miles weekly. The recreationally active group consisted of male (n = 14) and female (n = 12) full-time Messiah College students who reported running at least six but less than 30 miles weekly, or equivalent physical activity and no participation in NCAA intercollegiate sports. The SWA recorded the subjects' total time at sedentary MET levels for seven days. The difference in mean sedentary time for the week between the two groups was analyzed using 2x2 factorial ANOVA for independent samples with standard weighted-means analysis (Vassar Stats, www.vassarstats.net). No significant difference in mean sedentary time was found between the groups (P = 0.73). NCAA DIII collegiate distance runners do not accrue more time at sedentary MET levels then recreationally active college students. More research is needed to assess the health implications of time spent sedentary by both groups.

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