Review article| Volume 65, ISSUE 4, P446-454, October 2019

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Tracking of Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior From Adolescence to Young Adulthood: A Systematic Literature Review



      The transition from adolescence to young adulthood is categorized by substantial changes in one's activity behaviors, which may have important implications for health. To date, no reviews have systematically investigated the evidence of tracking for both physical activity (PA) and sedentary behavior (SB) specifically during this transition period.


      Web of Science, PubMed, SPORTDiscus, PsycINFO, and CINAHL were searched for articles that examined the tracking of PA and SB in adolescents (aged 9–18 years) through young adulthood (aged 19–25 years) published between the years of 2000 and 2018. Studies were also compared on methodologic quality.


      Sixteen studies met the inclusion criteria. The tracking correlations for both the frequency and duration of PA were low-to-moderate. Gender differences were observed in the tracking of PA frequency and duration. Studies that examined the tracking of SB were less frequent, making it difficult to determine how SB tracks from adolescence to young adulthood.


      Generally, PA was shown to track moderately from adolescence through young adulthood. The lack of studies reporting on the tracking of SB indicates that this area should be a target for future research. Future tracking studies should consider appropriate gold-standard objective methodologies and statistical analysis techniques that report fixed outcomes.


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