Online Program

A description of physical activity levels within the amish community

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Ryan Fowler, Department of Kinesiology, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
Mark Richardson, Ph.D., Department of Kinesiology, The Univeristy of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
Jonathan Wingo, Ph.D., Department of Kinesiology, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
Gary Hodges, Ph.D., Department of Kinesiology, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
Background: Physical inactivity is a primary health concern in most modern industrialized societies. A focus for researchers has become the relationship between the obesity epidemic and a sedentary lifestyle. A related issue concerns the extent that conveniences of modern technology affect daily physical activity (PA) levels. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of technology on PA levels within the mainstream population by assessing PA levels of Old Order Amish, which to the researchers' knowledge has never been studied in the U.S. Old Order Amish refrain from using many of the labor saving devices that reduce PA levels. Methods: Nineteen Amish adult participants were asked to wear an accelerometer for 3 days and encouraged to perform routine daily activity. Researchers administered the Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire to determine the general health status of participants. Results: Mean daily PA levels for all participants were 7.50 hours of sedentary activity (1-<1.5 METs); 7.64 hours of light intensity PA (1.5-<3 METs); and 3.15 hours in ≥ moderate intensity PA (≥ 3 METs). Average steps per day were 12,134 +/- 4025 and average BMI was 25.68 +/- 5.66 for all participants. Conclusion: PA levels for this sample of Amish were greater than those of a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults. Although generated from a relatively small sample these data provide insight to the extent to which modern technogly has impacted PA levels of the mainstream population.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Public health or related education
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Compare a population with above average PA levels with a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults. Describe the PA levels of a minority population (Amish) that has yet to be studied in the United States.

Keyword(s): Physical Activity, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a 2nd year Doctoral student in Department of Kinesiology at The University of Alabama with specific knowledge of the content area.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.