J Nutr Health.  2013 Aug;46(4):346-356.

A survey on daily physical activity level, energy expenditure and dietary energy intake by university students in Chungnam Province in Korea

  • 1Department of Technology and Home Economics Education, Kongju National University, Gongju-si, Chungcheongnam-do 314-701, Korea. shkim@kongju.ac.kr


This study investigated the daily physical activity level, energy expenditure, energy balance, and body composition and their relationship with university students. The participants were 130 male students (19.5 +/- 0.5 yrs) and 139 female students (19.5 +/- 0.3 yrs) at a university in Chungnam province. Physical activity level was evaluated by an equation based on 24 hr-activity record and dietary nutrient intake was evaluated using the food record method during a three-day period consisting of two week days and one weekend. Body composition was measured using Inbody 430 (Biospace Co., Cheonan, Korea). As a result, mean body mass index (BMI) of subjects indicated that they had normal weight, however mean body fat ratio was 19.1 +/- 5.4% for males and 28.4 +/- 5.0% for females, indicating that they had higher than normal weight. Daily mean physical activity level was 1.55 for males and 1.47 for females, which was regarded as 'low active', respectively. Females had more light activity than males (p < 0.01). Daily mean energy expenditure was 2,803.5 +/- 788.9 kcal/d for males and 1,915.4 +/- 510.2 kcal/d for females (p < 0.001). Daily mean dietary energy intake was 2,327.0 +/- 562.5 kcal/d for males and 1,802.1 +/- 523.6/d for females (p < 0.001), and daily mean energy balance was -476.5 +/- 955.9 kcal/d for males and -113.3 +/- 728.1 kcal/d for females (p < 0.01). Daily mean dietary intake of protein, vitamins, and minerals, except Ca, satisfied recommended nutrient intake. Daily energy expenditure was positively related to body weight (p < 0.01), BMI (p < 0.01), and fat free mass ratio (p < 0.05), but was negatively related to body fat ratio (p < 0.01). In conclusion, subjects had a negative energy balance and low physical activity. They had a normal weight by BMI but had a more fat than normal weight by body fat ratio. This appears to be related to their low physical activity. Thus, nutrition education should be provided for university students in order to increase their physical activity for maintenance of normal weight by body composition and health promotion.


physical activity level; energy expenditure; energy intake; energy balance; body composition
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