Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
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Adolescence is characterized by more sedentary behaviour and less physical activity even among highly active forager-farmers

Ann E. Caldwell

Ann E. Caldwell

Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO, USA

[email protected]

Contribution: Conceptualization, Data curation, Formal analysis, Investigation, Methodology, Project administration, Visualization, Writing – original draft, Writing – review & editing

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Daniel K. Cummings

Daniel K. Cummings

Economic Science Institute, Chapman University, Orange, CA, USA

Contribution: Data curation, Formal analysis, Visualization, Writing – review & editing

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Paul L. Hooper

Paul L. Hooper

Economic Science Institute, Chapman University, Orange, CA, USA

Department of Anthropology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, USA

Contribution: Conceptualization, Investigation, Methodology, Project administration, Resources, Software, Writing – review & editing

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Benjamin C. Trumble

Benjamin C. Trumble

Center for Evolution and Medicine, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA

School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA

Contribution: Data curation, Methodology, Writing – review & editing

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Michael Gurven

Michael Gurven

Department of Anthropology, University of California Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA, USA

Contribution: Funding acquisition, Methodology, Writing – review & editing

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Jonathan Stieglitz

Jonathan Stieglitz

Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse, Université Toulouse 1 Capitole Toulouse, France

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Helen E. Davis

Helen E. Davis

School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA

Department of Anthropology, Harvard University, Boston, MA, USA

Contribution: Data curation, Methodology, Writing – review & editing

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Hillard Kaplan

Hillard Kaplan

Economic Science Institute, Chapman University, Orange, CA, USA

Contribution: Funding acquisition, Methodology, Resources, Supervision, Writing – review & editing

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Published:https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2023.1764

Over 80% of adolescents worldwide are insufficiently active, posing massive public health and economic challenges. Declining physical activity (PA) and sex differences in PA consistently accompany transitions from childhood to adulthood in post-industrialized populations and are attributed to psychosocial and environmental factors. An overarching evolutionary theoretical framework and data from pre-industrialized populations are lacking. This cross-sectional study tests hypotheses from life history theory, that adolescent PA is inversely related to age, but this association is mediated by Tanner stage, reflecting higher and sex-specific energetic demands for growth and reproductive maturation. Detailed measures of PA and pubertal maturation are assessed among Tsimane forager-farmers (age: 7–22 years; 50% female, n = 110). Most Tsimane sampled (71%) meet World Health Organization PA guidelines (greater than or equal to 60 min/day of moderate-to-vigorous PA). Like post-industrialized populations, sex differences and inverse age-activity associations were observed. Tanner stage significantly mediated age-activity associations. Adolescence presents difficulties to PA engagement that warrant further consideration in PA intervention approaches to improve public health.

Footnotes

Electronic supplementary material is available online at https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.6887622.

References