Accelerometer-measured physical activity among older adults in urban India: Results of a study on global AGEing and adult health substudy

J. Josh Snodgrass, Melissa A. Liebert, Tara J. Cepon-Robins, Tyler M. Barrett, Arvind Mathur, Somnath Chatterji, Paul Kowal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objectives: Accelerometry provides researchers with a powerful tool to measure physical activity in population-based studies, yet this technology has been underutilized in cross-cultural studies of older adults. The present study was conducted among older adults in an urban setting in India with the following three objectives: (1) to compare average activity levels obtained through different durations of monitoring (1, 3, and 7 days); (2) to document differences in physical activity patterns by sex and age and (3) to evaluate links between measures of physical activity and anthropometrics, as well as between activity parameters and measures of household size, work status, and social cohesion. Methods: The present study uses data from a physical activity substudy of the World Health Organization's Study on global AGEing and adult health (SAGE-PA). This study of 200 older adults (49-90 years old; 72 males, 128 females) in urban India combines 7 continuous days of ActiGraph GT3X accelerometry with anthropometric and sociodemographic data. Results: Results reveal overall low activity levels, with significantly lower activity energy expenditure (AEE) among females (P<0.05). No significant differences were documented in activity level by monitoring duration. Age was negatively correlated with AEE in men (P<0.01) and women (P<0.001). AEE was positively correlated with BMI in men (P<0.01) and women (P<0.05). Finally, women who were more socially integrated had greater AEE (P<0.01). Conclusions: This study illustrates the utility of accelerometry for quantifying activity levels in aging populations in non-Western nations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)412-420
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Human Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Anthropology
  • Genetics


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