Key Concepts about Uses of the Physical Activity and Fitness Data

This tutorial covers the physical activity questionnaire, cardiovascular fitness, and physical activity monitor data. Each of the independent data components measures different aspects of physical activity and fitness. The questionnaire data provide information about physical activity behaviors within particular contexts, as estimated and reported by the participants. The cardiovascular fitness component does not measure physical activity, but estimates a physiologic component (maximal oxygen uptake) that is linked with physical activity. The physical activity monitor measures motion but provides no indication of why or in what context the motion occurs.

These data can be used to calculate nationally-representative estimates of physical activity and fitness to be used as outcomes or covariates in analyses. The data also can be used to evaluate associations with multiple health and behavioral outcomes measured in a variety of NHANES components. For example, physical activity data can be analyzed with NHANES obesity, mental health, diabetes, or other data. Similarly, cardiovascular fitness data can be analyzed with NHANES prescription drug, dietary, or occupational data. In Course 3 – Physical Activity and Cardiovascular Fitness Data Analyses – you will learn how to test for associations between physical activity or fitness measures and physiological outcomes collected through NHANES.



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