Sport Sciences for Health

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 385–391 | Cite as

Physical activity and sedentary behavior in amateur sports: master athletes are not free from prolonged sedentary time

  • Juliana ExelEmail author
  • Nuno Mateus
  • Catarina Abrantes
  • Nuno Leite
  • Jaime Sampaio
Original Article


Sedentary behavior (SED) and physical activity (PA) are distinct behavioral domains that must be considered before interpreting individual profiles, particularly for amateur athletes which are considered active. The aim was to describe the PA and SED of master amateur runners and footballers, the main individual and team sports. Sixteen male runners and 13 footballers (42 ± 6.9 and 43.9 ± 3.9 years) were monitored for 7 days using triaxial accelerometers (30 Hz). The median (interquartile range) of up to 10 min of moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA bouts) was similar among runners and footballers [33.3 (56.0) and 32.5 (47.8) min/day, respectively] and achieved the recommended activity level. Vigorous PA levels were achieved, but were higher for runners than footballers [9.8 (59.5) and 1.6 (3.9) min/day, respectively]. Week-day differences for runners and footballers were found for light [202.0 (139.1) and 261.3 (115.3) min/day, P = 0.001], moderate [47.7 (59.8) and 103.3 (82.7) min/day, P < 0.001] and vigorous PA [9.8 (58.9) and 1.7 (3.9) min/day, P < 0.001]. Athletes present alarming time in bouts of 30-min of sedentary activity on weekdays [202.8 (270.9) and 254.0 (224.3) min/day, P = 0.07]. On the weekends, differences were found in moderate [48.3 (54.9) and 60.8 (89.9) min/day, P = 0.013], MVPA bouts [48.2 (71.4) and 11.3 (44.8) min/day, P < 0.001), and vigorous PA [11.6 (62.4) and 1.3 (4.1) min/day, P < 0.001]. The results of the present study highlight the need to consider the excessive amounts of sedentary behavior in master athletes that cannot be masquerade by adequate PA profiles.


Physical activity Sedentarism Behavior Accelerometry Sports 



Project NanoSTIMA: Macro-to-Nano Human Sensing: Towards Integrated Multi-modal Health Monitoring and Analytics/NORTE-01-0145-FEDER-000016, which is financed by the North Portugal Regional Operational Programme (NORTE 2020), under the PORTUGAL 2020 Partnership Agreement, and through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in the present study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia S.r.l., part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Center in Sports Sciences, Health Sciences and Human Development, CIDESD, CreativeLab Research CommunityUniversity of Trás-os-Montes and Alto DouroVila RealPortugal
  2. 2.Research Center in Sports Sciences, Health Sciences and Human Development, CIDESD, Geron Research CommunityUniversity of Trás-os-Montes and Alto DouroVila RealPortugal

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