Study aim: Systematic physical activity is an effective preventive measure that supports the preservation of physical health and psychological health. Three expressions employed that relate to the work carried out with MET-min/week as a measure of the level of total physical activity are intense activity, moderate activity, and walking. These were applied to students studying Physical Education. In the process, those who failed to meet the requirements for the ‘sufficient’ level according to IPAQ criteria and as recommended by the WHO were identified.
Material and methods: Research was conducted amongst 146 students: 50 from Charles University (CU) and 96 from the University of Physical Education in Warsaw (UPE). The total physical activity of students was determined according to the accepted standards (IPAQ). WHO recommendations concerning physical activity per week were converted into MET-min/week used by IPAQ as follows: physical activity needs to achieve at least 1200 MET-min/week to increase its effect on health.
Results: The study of Physical Education students at CU shows that they were significantly more active than their counterparts at UPE. Total physical activity per week as measured by IPAQ at CU was 9525.2 ± 4275.9 for men and 10964.3 ± 4092.0 MET-min/week for women. At UPE, this was 4034.3 ± 2617.8 for men and 2469.8 ± 1721.2 MET-min/week for women. The difference in total levels of physical activity carried out by these students was found to depend largely upon their involvement in championship sports. Inclusion of WHO recommendations in the assessment of physical activity of students increased the proportion of individuals with low activity levels, particularly in the group of not-training students.
Conclusions: It is recommended either that the WHO criterion “of activity level for health” be added to the IPAQ classification, thus toughening the requirements of the moderate level of activity, or, alternatively, an additional threshold of completing at least 1200 MET-min/week be applied, with the recommendation that this is achieved on a regular basis.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.