Glossary of Sedentary Behavior and Physical Activity Research

Glossary of Sedentary Behavior and Physical Activity Research


Welcome to our glossary on Sedentary Behavior and Physical Activity Research. This resource is meticulously curated for professionals, researchers, and enthusiasts alike, aiming to clarify and define pivotal terms within the field. Here, you will find scientifically accurate, neutral definitions of widely used concepts and methodologies that measure and analyze physical activity and sedentary behaviors. Dive into this essential companion to enhance your understanding and contribute to the discourse in health and physical activity research.

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What is an accelerometer?

An accelerometer is an electronic device that measures a person’s movement. It’s essential in physical activity research for quantifying different levels of activity, from sedentary behavior to vigorous exercise.

What is active transport?

Active transport means using physical effort, like walking or cycling, to get from one place to another. It’s a key form of physical activity beneficial for health.

What is aerobic activity?

Aerobic activity is any exercise that uses oxygen to meet energy demands over time. Examples include running and cycling, important for cardiovascular health.

What is anaerobic activity?

Anaerobic activity involves short, intense bursts of exercise, like sprinting, that don’t use oxygen. It’s crucial for building strength and muscle power.

What is anthropometry?

Anthropometry refers to the measurement of body size and composition. It’s used in physical activity research to assess health outcomes related to different activity levels.

What is activity recognition?

Activity recognition involves identifying specific physical activities, such as walking or running, using data from sensors like accelerometers. It’s crucial for monitoring physical activity levels in research.

What is adiposity?

Adiposity refers to the accumulation of fat in the body. It’s often measured to assess health risks related to obesity and sedentary lifestyles.

What is agility?

Agility is the ability to move quickly and change direction efficiently. It’s a key component of physical fitness, enhancing performance in various sports and activities.

What is anaerobic threshold?

The anaerobic threshold is the point during intense exercise at which your body starts to produce more lactate than it can remove, leading to fatigue. It’s important for training and performance optimization.

What is the average daily step count?

The average daily step count is the typical number of steps a person takes in a day. It’s used as an indicator of physical activity levels, with higher counts associated with lower risk of chronic diseases.

What is active recovery?

Active recovery is low-intensity exercise performed during the recovery phase after high-intensity workouts. It helps in reducing muscle lactate levels and enhancing overall recovery.

What is aerobic capacity?

Aerobic capacity, also known as VO2 max, is the maximum amount of oxygen the body can utilize during intense exercise. It’s a key indicator of cardiovascular fitness and endurance performance.

What is aerobic endurance?

Aerobic endurance refers to the ability to perform moderate-intensity exercise, such as running or cycling, for extended periods. It’s crucial for long-distance sports and overall health.

What is agility training?

Agility training involves exercises designed to improve the ability to change direction, speed, and position of the body efficiently. It’s beneficial for athletes and helps in injury prevention.

What is the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)?

The American College of Sports Medicine is a global organization dedicated to advancing and integrating scientific research to improve educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine.

What is basal metabolic rate (BMR)?

Basal metabolic rate is the amount of energy expended while at rest in a neutrally temperate environment, in the post-absorptive state. It’s a measure of the energy required to maintain the body’s normal metabolic activity, such as breathing and keeping warm.

What is body composition?

Body composition refers to the proportion of fat and non-fat mass in the body. Understanding body composition is crucial for assessing health and fitness levels, guiding nutritional and exercise interventions.

What is body mass index (BMI)?

Body mass index is a numerical computation comparing a person’s weight and height. It’s a widely used indicator to classify underweight, normal weight, overweight, and obesity in adults.

What is bone density?

Bone density is a measurement of the amount of calcium and other minerals in a segment of bone. It’s an indicator of osteoporosis and fracture risk.

What is brisk walking?

Brisk walking is a moderate-intensity exercise that involves walking at a pace that increases heart rate and breathing but still allows for conversation. It’s recommended for cardiovascular health.

What is caloric expenditure?

Caloric expenditure refers to the number of calories burned by the body during any activity, from resting metabolic processes to vigorous exercise. It’s essential for managing weight and understanding the energy cost of different activities.

What is cardiorespiratory fitness?

Cardiorespiratory fitness is the ability of the heart, lungs, and blood vessels to supply oxygen to skeletal muscles during sustained physical activity. It’s a strong predictor of overall health and longevity.

What is circuit training?

Circuit training is a form of body conditioning or resistance training using high-intensity aerobics. It targets strength building and muscular endurance through a series of exercises with minimal rest.

What is a cool-down?

A cool-down is a period of low-intensity exercise that follows high-intensity activity, helping the body to gradually return to its resting state. It aids in recovery and reduces muscle soreness.

What is dynamic stretching?

Dynamic stretching involves moving parts of your body and gradually increasing reach, speed of movement, or both. It’s performed as a warm-up to prepare the muscles for vigorous activities.

What is energy expenditure?

Energy expenditure refers to the total amount of energy used by the body to maintain basic physiological functions, perform physical activities, and process food. It’s critical for understanding metabolism and managing weight.

What is energy consumption?

Energy consumption in the context of physical activity refers to the amount of energy taken in through food and drink. It’s important for maintaining energy balance and supporting the energy demands of various activities.

What is energy balance?

Energy balance is the relationship between energy consumption (calories taken in) and energy expenditure (calories used). Maintaining a proper energy balance is essential for weight management and overall health.

What is energy expenditure measurement?

Energy expenditure measurement involves various methods to quantify the total calories expended by an individual. Techniques include direct calorimetry, indirect calorimetry, and estimations based on heart rate or accelerometry data.

What is fitness?

Fitness refers to the condition of being physically fit and healthy, encompassing attributes such as cardiovascular endurance, muscle strength, flexibility, and body composition. It’s a key indicator of physical and often mental well-being.

What is flexibility training?

Flexibility training involves exercises that improve the range of motion of muscles and joints. Techniques include static stretching, dynamic stretching, and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF), important for overall physical performance and injury prevention.

What is functional fitness?

Functional fitness refers to exercises that train your muscles to work together and prepare them for daily tasks by simulating common movements you might do at home, at work, or in sports. It emphasizes core stability and improves efficiency in performing everyday activities.

What is glucose metabolism?

Glucose metabolism involves the processes that manage the body’s use of glucose, a primary energy source. It’s significant in physical activity research for understanding how exercise affects blood sugar levels and overall metabolic health.

What is graded exercise test (GXT)?

A graded exercise test is a diagnostic tool that measures an individual’s cardiovascular response to physical stress, gradually increasing in intensity. It helps in assessing cardiovascular fitness and determining exercise prescriptions.

What is gross motor skills?

Gross motor skills are the abilities required to control the large muscles of the body for walking, running, sitting, crawling, and other activities. Development of these skills is crucial for physical activity and overall health.

What is group fitness?

Group fitness refers to exercise performed by a group of individuals led by an instructor, including classes like aerobics, cycling, and yoga. It’s popular for its motivational atmosphere and community feel.

What is heart rate?

Heart rate is the number of heartbeats per unit of time, usually per minute. It’s a crucial measure in physical activity research for assessing exercise intensity and cardiovascular fitness.

What is high-intensity interval training (HIIT)?

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) involves short bursts of intense exercise alternated with low-intensity recovery periods. It’s highly effective for improving fitness, reducing fat, and increasing metabolic health.

What is hydration?

Hydration refers to the process of providing adequate fluids to the body to maintain optimal physiological function, especially important during and after physical activities to prevent dehydration.

What is hypertrophy?

Hypertrophy is the increase in the size of an organ or tissue through the enlargement of its cells. In fitness, it specifically refers to muscle growth from resistance training.

What is interval training?

Interval training is a type of physical training that involves a series of low- to high-intensity workouts interspersed with rest or relief periods. It’s effective for improving cardiovascular fitness and burning more calories in a shorter time.

What is isometric exercise?

Isometric exercise is a form of strength training where the joint angle and muscle length do not change during contraction. It’s beneficial for maintaining muscle strength and can be performed anywhere since it doesn’t require movement.

What is insulin sensitivity?

Insulin sensitivity refers to how effectively the body uses insulin to lower blood glucose levels. Physical activity improves insulin sensitivity, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

What is intake balance?

Intake balance relates to achieving a balance between energy intake (calories consumed through food and drink) and energy expenditure (calories burned through physical activity and metabolic processes). It’s crucial for maintaining a healthy weight and preventing obesity.

What is joint flexibility?

Joint flexibility refers to the range of motion available at a joint or group of joints. Flexibility is crucial for overall mobility and is improved through exercises targeting the elongation of muscles and tendons around the joint.

What is jogging?

Jogging is a form of trotting or running at a slow or leisurely pace. The main intention is to increase physical fitness with less stress on the body than from faster running but more than walking, or to maintain a steady speed for longer periods of time. It’s considered a moderate-intensity aerobic activity beneficial for cardiovascular health.

What is kinetic chain exercises?

Kinetic chain exercises involve movements that are connected through the links of the body’s skeleton. Such exercises can be either open kinetic chain (where the limb moves freely, like leg extensions) or closed kinetic chain (where the limb is stationary, like squats), and they are essential for improving functional movement patterns and overall physical stability.

What is kinesiology?

Kinesiology is the scientific study of human body movement. It addresses physiological, biomechanical, and psychological dynamic principles and mechanisms of movement. This field is crucial for developing interventions that improve physical activity levels and reduce sedentary behavior, enhancing health and well-being.

What is lactate threshold?

Lactate threshold refers to the intensity of exercise at which lactate begins to accumulate in the blood at a faster rate than it can be removed. This is a crucial marker for athletic performance, particularly in endurance sports, as it indicates the maximum effort or intensity that an athlete can sustain for an extended period.

What is leisure-time physical activity (LTPA)?

Leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) is any physical activity that is performed by an individual in their free time for the purposes of recreation, health improvement, pleasure, or fitness. LTPA is considered a key component for reducing sedentary behavior and improving public health outcomes.

What is ligament?

A ligament is a short band of tough, flexible, fibrous connective tissue that connects two bones or cartilages or holds together a joint. In the context of physical activity, maintaining healthy ligaments is essential for joint stability and preventing injuries.

What is low-intensity steady-state (LISS) cardio?

Low-intensity steady-state (LISS) cardio is a form of cardiovascular exercise where you maintain the same pace at a low-to-moderate intensity for a set period. It’s beneficial for building endurance and can be a more sustainable option for individuals new to exercise or those with specific health considerations.

What is metabolic equivalent (MET)?

A metabolic equivalent (MET) is a unit used to estimate the amount of oxygen used by the body during physical activity, compared to resting state. One MET is roughly equivalent to the energy cost of sitting quietly, and it is used to categorize the intensity of different physical activities.

What is muscle endurance?

Muscle endurance refers to the ability of a muscle or muscle group to perform repeated contractions against a resistance for an extended period. It’s crucial for many endurance sports and activities, as well as for daily tasks.

What is muscle hypertrophy?

Muscle hypertrophy is the enlargement of muscle fibers as a result of strength training or resistance training. It involves an increase in the size of skeletal muscle through a growth in size of its component cells.

What is motor skill development?

Motor skill development is the process by which individuals acquire and refine skills involving the coordination of muscles and limbs to perform movements with precision and efficiency. It is essential for physical activity and plays a significant role in physical education and sports training.

What is neuromuscular efficiency?

Neuromuscular efficiency refers to the ability of the nervous system and muscular system to communicate effectively, enabling the body to produce smooth, coordinated movements. It’s crucial for performing physical activities with precision and for reducing the risk of injury.

What is non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT)?

Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) encompasses the calories expended for everything we do that is not sleeping, eating, or sports-like exercise. It includes activities like walking to work, typing, performing yard work, and fidgeting. NEAT can significantly contribute to an individual’s total caloric expenditure.

What is nutrition in physical activity?

Nutrition in physical activity refers to the dietary needs and considerations for optimizing performance and recovery in sports and exercise. It involves understanding the balance of macronutrients and micronutrients required to support energy levels, muscle repair, and overall health during and after physical exertion.

What is obesity?

Obesity is a condition characterized by excessive body fat accumulation that presents a risk to health. It is typically defined by a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher and is associated with an increased risk of various diseases, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers.

What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a bone disease that occurs when the body loses too much bone, makes too little bone, or both, leading to weak and brittle bones. It is often linked with prolonged sedentary behavior and a lack of physical activity, which are vital for maintaining bone density and strength.

What is overload principle?

The overload principle is a fundamental concept in strength and conditioning that suggests in order to improve muscle strength, endurance, or size, the muscles need to be exposed to a stressor that is greater than what they are accustomed to. This principle is the basis for progressive resistance training programs.

What is oxygen consumption?

Oxygen consumption refers to the amount of oxygen used by the muscles during physical activity. It is a key indicator of aerobic fitness and is directly related to the body’s ability to perform sustained exercise. Higher levels of oxygen consumption indicate greater cardiovascular efficiency and fitness.

What is physical activity?

Physical activity encompasses any movement that uses skeletal muscles and requires more energy than resting. It includes activities ranging from walking and gardening to more vigorous activities like running and strength training. Physical activity is essential for maintaining overall health and preventing chronic diseases.

What is proprioception?

Proprioception is the body’s ability to sense its position and movements in space. It’s crucial for coordination, balance, and the ability to perform complex physical tasks. Training proprioception can help prevent injuries and improve athletic performance.

What is plyometric training?

Plyometric training involves explosive exercises that contract and stretch muscles rapidly to increase muscle power. Common plyometric exercises include jump squats and burpees, which are effective for improving speed, strength, and agility.

What is physical fitness?

Physical fitness refers to the ability to perform aspects of sports, occupations, and daily activities without undue fatigue. It involves various components, including cardiovascular endurance, muscle strength, flexibility, and body composition.

What is qualitative analysis in physical activity research?

Qualitative analysis in physical activity research involves examining non-numerical data, such as participant experiences, perceptions, and motivations, to understand the complexities of physical activity behaviors and the factors influencing sedentary lifestyles.

What is quantitative analysis in physical activity research?

Quantitative analysis in physical activity research involves the use of numerical data to measure and quantify aspects of physical activity and sedentary behavior, such as frequency, duration, and intensity, often utilizing statistical methods to identify patterns and relationships.

What is Qigong?

Qigong is a traditional Chinese exercise and healing technique that combines movement, meditation, and controlled breathing to enhance physical and mental well-being. It’s considered a form of gentle exercise and is practiced for health maintenance, healing, and increasing vitality.

What is resistance training?

Resistance training is a form of physical activity that involves the use of resistance to induce muscular contraction, which builds the strength, anaerobic endurance, and size of skeletal muscles. It can be performed with various types of equipment, including free weights, weight machines, or resistance bands.

What is resting metabolic rate (RMR)?

Resting metabolic rate is the amount of energy (calories) a person’s body needs to maintain basic bodily functions, such as breathing, circulation, and cell production, while at rest. It accounts for the majority of an individual’s total energy expenditure.

What is rate of perceived exertion (RPE)?

Rate of perceived exertion is a subjective measure used to assess the intensity of physical activity. It is often gauged using the Borg Scale, which ranges from 6 (no exertion) to 20 (maximum exertion), allowing individuals to estimate their level of effort during exercise.

What is recovery in physical activity?

Recovery in physical activity refers to the process and practices involved in allowing the body to rest and rejuvenate after exercise. Effective recovery strategies, such as adequate rest, nutrition, and hydration, are crucial for preventing injuries and enhancing performance.

What is sedentary behavior?

Sedentary behavior refers to any waking activity characterized by low energy expenditure and a sitting or reclining posture. Common examples include watching television, working on a computer, and driving. Excessive sedentary behavior is linked to various health risks, independent of physical activity levels.

What is strength training?

Strength training is a type of physical exercise specializing in the use of resistance to induce muscular contraction, which builds the strength, anaerobic endurance, and size of skeletal muscles. It’s fundamental for improving overall health, performance in physical activities, and injury prevention.

What is stretching?

Stretching involves deliberately lengthening muscles and tendons to increase muscle flexibility and joint range of motion. Regular stretching is essential for maintaining physical fitness and can aid in injury prevention, improve posture, and enhance physical performance.

What is sports nutrition?

Sports nutrition is the study and practice of nutrition and diet with a focus on improving anyone’s athletic performance. Nutrition is an important part of many sports training regimens, being equally popular in strength and endurance sports. It deals with the consumption of nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, supplements, and organic substances that include carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

What is target heart rate?

Target heart rate is the desired range of heart rate reached during aerobic exercise which enables one’s heart and lungs to receive the most benefit from a workout. This range varies by age and is critical for effective cardiovascular training and health improvement.

What is thermogenesis?

Thermogenesis is the process of heat production in organisms. It occurs through metabolic processes in the body, such as when exercising or digesting food. Physical activity increases thermogenesis, contributing to energy expenditure and weight management.

What is total daily energy expenditure (TDEE)?

Total daily energy expenditure is the total number of calories a person burns in a day, combining the energy used during resting metabolic rate, physical activity, and the thermic effect of food. Understanding TDEE is crucial for designing weight management and nutrition plans.

What is flexibility training?

Flexibility training involves exercises designed to improve the range of motion of muscles and joints. Techniques include static stretching, dynamic stretching, and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF), important for overall physical performance and injury prevention.

What is unilateral training?

Unilateral training involves exercises that focus on one side of the body at a time, rather than both sides simultaneously. This type of training can help improve muscular imbalances, enhance coordination, and increase overall strength by targeting specific muscles more effectively.

What is VO2 max?

VO2 max, often referred to under aerobic capacity assessments, is the maximum rate of oxygen consumption measured during incremental exercise; that is, exercise of increasing intensity. It’s a key indicator of an individual’s cardiovascular fitness and aerobic endurance. The higher the VO2 max, the more oxygen a person can utilize during intense exercise, which is crucial for endurance sports and high-intensity activities.

What is volume in exercise training?

Volume in exercise training refers to the total amount of work performed during a training session or over a period of training. It can be calculated as the number of exercises multiplied by sets multiplied by repetitions, often considered in relation to the intensity of the activities to gauge overall training load.

What is a velocity-based training (VBT)?

Velocity-based training is a training approach that focuses on the speed of movement to dictate the load and intensity of strength training exercises. It’s used to optimize performance, ensure appropriate training stimulus, and reduce the risk of overtraining by measuring the velocity of lifts in real-time.

What is weight-bearing exercise?

Weight-bearing exercise includes activities where you move against gravity while staying upright. These exercises help build bones and keep them strong, important for preventing osteoporosis. Examples include walking, running, and dancing.

What is wellness?

Wellness is the act of practicing healthy habits on a daily basis to attain better physical and mental health outcomes, so that instead of just surviving, you’re thriving. In the context of physical activity, it encompasses a holistic approach including exercise, nutrition, and mental well-being.

What is work capacity?

Work capacity refers to the maximum amount of physical work an individual can perform. This concept is relevant in both athletic training and physical rehabilitation, indicating the level of fitness or recovery an individual has achieved.

What is zone training?

Zone training refers to exercise programs that are designed around heart rate zones. Each zone targets a different intensity level, based on a percentage of your maximum heart rate, to achieve specific fitness goals. For instance, lower zones can be aimed at fat burning and endurance, while higher zones focus on improving aerobic and anaerobic capacity.

Frequently asked questions about this topic:

Who is Dr. Olli Tikkanen? +

Dr. Olli Tikkanen is the CEO and founder of Fibion Inc., a visionary in health technology and physical activity research. He has dedicated his career to bridging scientific research with practical applications, simplifying health research through innovation.

What is Fibion’s mission? +

Fibion’s mission is to “make better research with less hassle” by developing user-friendly health technology solutions that simplify the collection, analysis, and interpretation of physical activity data for researchers, practitioners, and individuals.

How does Fibion simplify health research? +

Fibion simplifies health research by offering innovative products designed with the end-user in mind. These tools minimize setup time, reduce the need for extensive training or technical support, and provide clear, actionable feedback, making health research more accessible and efficient.

What impact has Fibion had on health and well-being? +

Fibion has had a significant impact on health and well-being by making it easier for users to understand and improve their physical activity and sedentary behavior. Its products have facilitated a broader engagement with health data, empowering users to make informed decisions and adopt healthier lifestyles.

What future innovations does Fibion plan to explore? +

Fibion plans to continue its trajectory of innovation by focusing on longitudinal measurements and developing tools that allow for data collection over extended periods with minimal sensor burden. This approach aims to reveal even the smallest changes in health behavior, offering new insights into health research.

About Fibion

Fibion Inc. offers scientifically valid measurement technologies for sleep, sedentary behavior, and physical activity, integrating these with cloud-based modern solutions for ease of use and streamlined research processes, ensuring better research with less hassle Contact us.

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