Accelerometer-based physical activity levels among Mexican adults and their relation with sociodemographic characteristics and BMI: a cross-sectional study

The objectives of this study were to describe the accelerometer based total and bout-specific PA levels for a representative sample of adults from Cuernavaca, Mexico, and to examine the relationships with sociodemographic characteristics and BMI status.
Cross sectional study of adults from Cuernavaca, Mexico (2011, n = 677). Participants wore Actigraph GT3X accelerometers for seven days and sociodemographic data was collected through a survey. Weight and height were objectively measured. Total minutes/week of moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) and of MVPA occurring within bouts of at least ten minutes were obtained. Intensity-specific (moderate and vigorous) total PA and bouted-PA was also obtained. The relation of each PA variable with sex, age, socioeconomic status, education, marital status and BMI status was assessed using unadjusted and adjusted linear models.
The mean total MVPA among adults from Cuernavaca was 221.3 ± 10.0 (median = 178.3 min/week). Average MVPA within bouts was 65.8 ± 4.7 min/week (median = 30.0 min/week). 9.7 % of total MVPA occurred within bouts. Significant associations were found for total and bout-specific MVPA with being male (positive) and owning a motor vehicle (negative). Additional associations were found for intensity-specific PA outcomes. Mexican adults were more active during weekdays than weekends, suggesting that PA may be more strongly driven by necessity (transport) than by choice (leisure).
This is the first study to objectively measure PA for a representative sample of Mexican adults in an urban setting. The sociodemographic correlates vary from those known from high income countries, stressing the need for more correlate studies from lower-to-middle income countries.