Levels of domain-specific physical activity at work, in the household, for travel and for leisure among 327 789 adults from 104 countries.
British Journal of Sports Medicine 2020 ; 54: 1488-1497.
PubMed ID : 33239355
PMCID : PMC7719912
To compare the country-level absolute and relative contributions of physical activity at work and in the household, for travel, and during leisure-time to total moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA).
We used data collected between 2002 and 2019 from 327 789 participants across 104 countries and territories (n=24 low, n=34 lower-middle, n=30 upper-middle, n=16 high-income) from all six World Health Organization (WHO) regions. We calculated mean min/week of work/household, travel and leisure MVPA and compared their relative contributions to total MVPA using Global Physical Activity Questionnaire data. We compared patterns by country, sex and age group (25-44 and 45-64 years).
Mean MVPA in work/household, travel and leisure domains across the 104 countries was 950 (IQR 618-1198), 327 (190-405) and 104 (51-131) min/week, respectively. Corresponding relative contributions to total MVPA were 52% (IQR 44%-63%), 36% (25%-45%) and 12% (4%-15%), respectively. Work/household was the highest contributor in 80 countries; travel in 23; leisure in just one. In both absolute and relative terms, low-income countries tended to show higher work/household (1233 min/week, 57%) and lower leisure MVPA levels (72 min/week, 4%). Travel MVPA duration was higher in low-income countries but there was no obvious pattern in the relative contributions. Women tended to have relatively less work/household and more travel MVPA; age groups were generally similar.
In the largest domain-specific physical activity study to date, we found considerable country-level variation in how MVPA is accumulated. Such information is essential to inform national and global policy and future investments to provide opportunities to be active, accounting for country context.