Aerobic Capacity, Activity Levels and Daily Energy Expenditure in Male and Female Adolescents of the Kenyan Nandi Sub-Group

Alexander R. Gibson, Robert Ojiambo, Kenn Konstabel, Daniel E. Lieberman, John J. Reilly, John R. Speakman, Yannis P. Pitsiladis

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Abstract

The relative importance of genetic and socio-cultural influences contributing to the success of east Africans in endurance athletics remains unknown in part because the pre-training phenotype of this population remains incompletely assessed. Here cardiopulmonary fitness, physical activity levels, distance travelled to school and daily energy expenditure in 15 habitually active male (13.9±1.6 years) and 15 habitually active female (13.9±1.2) adolescents from a rural Nandi primary school are assessed. Aerobic capacity (VO2max) was evaluated during two maximal discontinuous incremental exercise tests; physical activity using accelerometry combined with a global positioning system; and energy expenditure using the doubly labelled water method. The VO2max of the male and female adolescents were 73.9±5.7 ml. kg-1. min-1 and 61.5±6.3 ml. kg-1. min-1, respectively. Total time spent in sedentary, light, moderate and vigorous physical activities per day was 406±63 min (50% of total monitored time), 244±56 min (30%), 75±18 min (9%) and 82±30 min (10%). Average total daily distance travelled to and from school was 7.5±3.0 km (0.8-13.4 km). Mean daily energy expenditure, activity-induced energy expenditure and physical activity level was 12.2±3.4 MJ. day-1, 5.4±3.0 MJ. day-1 and 2.2±0.6. 70.6% of the variation in VO2max was explained by sex (partial R2 = 54.7%) and body mass index (partial R2 = 15.9%). Energy expenditure and physical activity variables did not predict variation in VO2max once sex had been accounted for. The highly active and energy-demanding lifestyle of rural Kenyan adolescents may account for their exceptional aerobic fitness and collectively prime them for later training and athletic success.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere66552
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalPloS ONE
Volume8
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2013

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energy expenditure
physical activity
Energy Metabolism
Exercise
sports
Sports
accelerometry
Accelerometry
Geographic Information Systems
exercise test
elementary schools
gender
global positioning systems
Exercise Test
lifestyle
body mass index
Global positioning system
Life Style
Durability
Body Mass Index

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Gibson, A. R., Ojiambo, R., Konstabel, K., Lieberman, D. E., Reilly, J. J., Speakman, J. R., & Pitsiladis, Y. P. (2013). Aerobic Capacity, Activity Levels and Daily Energy Expenditure in Male and Female Adolescents of the Kenyan Nandi Sub-Group. PloS ONE, 8(6), 1-8. [e66552]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0066552

Aerobic Capacity, Activity Levels and Daily Energy Expenditure in Male and Female Adolescents of the Kenyan Nandi Sub-Group. / Gibson, Alexander R.; Ojiambo, Robert; Konstabel, Kenn; Lieberman, Daniel E.; Reilly, John J.; Speakman, John R.; Pitsiladis, Yannis P.

In: PloS ONE, Vol. 8, No. 6, e66552, 21.06.2013, p. 1-8.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Gibson, Alexander R. ; Ojiambo, Robert ; Konstabel, Kenn ; Lieberman, Daniel E. ; Reilly, John J. ; Speakman, John R. ; Pitsiladis, Yannis P. / Aerobic Capacity, Activity Levels and Daily Energy Expenditure in Male and Female Adolescents of the Kenyan Nandi Sub-Group. In: PloS ONE. 2013 ; Vol. 8, No. 6. pp. 1-8.
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