Examining Device-Assessed Physical Activity During the Transition Into Emerging Adulthood: Results From the MovingU Study
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PURPOSE: The purpose of the present study was to conduct the first longitudinal investigation using accelerometers to assess physical activity behavior change during individuals' acute transition out of high school. METHODS: Participants in the current investigation were a part of a prospective cohort study called the MovingU Study. Participants were 163 adolescents (Mage = 16.9 ± .5; n = 88 females) recruited at the beginning of their final year at high school, with follow-up at 6 and 18 months. Participants wore the ActiGraph Link for 7 days at each assessment period. RESULTS: Results from the mixed-effects models found no significant differences in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity or total physical activity between baseline and follow-up at 6 months (Estimates = 1.91 and -2.26, p's > .05), respectively; however, significant differences in both moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and total physical activity between baseline and follow-up at 18 months after the transition out of highschool (Estimate = -123.62 and -15.38, p's < .01). CONCLUSIONS: Current findings provide additional compelling data to show precipitous declines in physical activity as adolescents transition out of high school and into emerging adulthood. Continued efforts to maintain or increase physical activity during adolescence and the prevention of physical activity declines as they enter emerging adulthood could have important public health benefits.
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