Eight-year secular trends of pedometer-determined physical activity in young Swedish adolescents

J Phys Act Health. 2010 May;7(3):369-74. doi: 10.1123/jpah.7.3.369.


Background: To explore the secular trends (time change) of pedometer-determined physical activity (steps per day) in Swedish young adolescents 13 to 14 years of age from 2000 to 2008.

Methods: The study was analyzed between 2 cross-sectional cohorts carried out in October 2000 (235,111 girls) and October 2008 (186,107 girls) in the same school, using identical procedures. Data of mean steps per day were collected during 4 consecutive weekdays (sealed pedometer Yamax SW-200 Tokyo, Japan) and in addition height and weight were measured.

Results: When comparing cohort 2000 with cohort 2008 no significant difference in physical activity were found neither among girls (12,989 vs 13,338 [t = -0.98, P < .325]) nor boys (15,623 vs 15,174 [t = 0.78, P = .436]). The share of girls and boys meeting weight control recommendations was none significantly higher in 2008 both among girls (68% versus 62%) and among boys (69% versus 65%).

Conclusion: There was no significant difference of young adolescents' physical activity during school weekdays in 2008 compared with 2000. This stabilized physical activity level, in an internationally comparison regarded as high, is promising. Enhanced focus on physical activity in society and at school might have influenced the result.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anthropometry
  • Cohort Studies
  • Exercise Test*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Activity*
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Time Factors
  • Weight Gain*