Characteristics of a "weekend warrior": results from two national surveys

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2007 May;39(5):796-800. doi: 10.1249/mss.0b013e318031faac.


Purpose: Little is known about high volumes of irregular weekly physical activity, such as long periods of physical activity performed on weekends (e.g., by "weekend warriors"). The purpose of this paper is to describe the prevalence, estimated energy expenditure, and types of activities that are performed by adults who engage in irregular patterns of physical activity (1-2 d x wk(-1)) with > or = 150 min x wk(-1) of total time spent in activity.

Methods: Two national datasets were analyzed to describe the proportion of the U.S. adult population who participate in irregular patterns of physical activity that are equivalent in total volume to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/American College of Sports Medicine recommendations for physical activity, but with infrequent weekly participation. Data from the 2003 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System were used to classify weekend warriors as those who participate in 1-2 d x wk(-1) of moderate-intensity and vigorous-intensity physical activity totaling > or = 150 min x wk(1). The 1999-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey was used to describe participation in transportation, household, and sports and exercise by weekend warriors.

Results: Approximately 1-3% of U.S. adults were classified as weekend warriors by both surveys. The median energy expenditure did not vary by sex. Approximately 81% of weekend warriors participated in household or transportation activities, and 65% participated in sports or exercise.

Conclusions: These survey data indicate that relatively few adults participate in the weekend warrior pattern of activity on 1-2 d x wk(1) at volumes that approximate recommended levels.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Health Surveys*
  • Humans
  • Leisure Activities*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Physical Exertion
  • United States