Age-related patterns of vigorous-intensity physical activity in youth: the International Children’s Accelerometry Database

Kirsten Corder, Stephen J. Sharp, Andrew J. Atkin, Lars B. Andersen, Greet Cardon, Angie S Page, Rachel Davey, Anders Grøntved, Pedro C. Hallal, Kathleen F. Janz, Katarzyna Kordas, Susi Kriemler, Jardena J. Puder, Luis B. Sardinha, Ulf Ekelund, Esther M.F. van Sluijs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)
258 Downloads (Pure)


Abstract Physical activity declines during youth but most evidence reports on combined moderate and vigorous-intensity physical activity. We investigated how vigorous-intensity activity varies with age. Cross-sectional data from 24,025 participants (5.0–18.0 y; from 20 studies in 10 countries obtained 2008–2010) providing ≥ 1 day accelerometer data (International Children's Accelerometry Database (ICAD)). Linear regression was used to investigate age-related patterns in vigorous-intensity activity; models included age (exposure), adjustments for monitor wear-time and study. Moderate-intensity activity was examined for comparison. Interactions were used to investigate whether the age/vigorous-activity association differed by sex, weight status, ethnicity, maternal education and region. A 6.9% (95% CI 6.2, 7.5) relative reduction in mean vigorous-intensity activity with every year of age was observed; for moderate activity the relative reduction was 6.0% (5.6%, 6.4%). The age-related decrease in vigorous-intensity activity remained after adjustment for moderate activity. A larger age-related decrease in vigorous activity was observed for girls (− 10.7%) versus boys (− 2.9%), non-white (− 12.9% to − 9.4%) versus white individuals (− 6.1%), lowest maternal education (high school (− 2.0%)) versus college/university (ns) and for overweight/obese (− 6.1%) versus healthy-weight participants (− 8.1%). In addition to larger annual decreases in vigorous-intensity activity, overweight/obese individuals, girls and North Americans had comparatively lower average vigorous-intensity activity at 5.0–5.9 y. Age-related declines in vigorous-intensity activity during youth appear relatively greater than those of moderate activity. However, due to a higher baseline, absolute moderate-intensity activity decreases more than vigorous. Overweight/obese individuals, girls, and North Americans appear especially in need of vigorous-intensity activity promotion due to low levels at 5.0–5.9 y and larger negative annual differences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-22
Number of pages6
JournalPreventive Medicine Reports
Early online date16 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016

Bibliographical note

Acceptance email received 17/05/2016


  • ICAD
  • Motor activity
  • Child
  • Adolescent
  • Epidemiology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Age-related patterns of vigorous-intensity physical activity in youth: the International Children’s Accelerometry Database'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this