Impact Of Lifestyles On Fractal Complexity Of College Students’ Daily Physical Activity
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
AbstractBackground: Daily physical activity has been noted to display fractal patterns, self-similarity of temporal fluctuations across various time scales. Breakdown in fractal patterns has been associated with disease and aging while increases have been seen with exercise. Considering this, the objective of the study was to observe how fractal patterns would change in various groups of students representing different lifestyles such as triathletes, weight lifters, video gamers, and control. Methods: Accelerometers were utilized to track daily physical activity over 7 days. Detrended Fluctuation Analysis (DFA) was used to linearize the data collected by the accelerometers by plotting fluctuation amplitude against time-scales. The slope of plot is known as alpha. Results: Post hoc pair-wise comparisons were made between each lifestyle group. The triathlete group was significantly higher than the weight lifter, video gamer, and control groups (p-value = 4.65 x 10-4, p-value = 5.55 x 10-4, and p-value = 4.65 x 10-4 respectively). No other comparisons were significantly different. Conclusions: This increase in fractal patterns implies that triathletes may be less susceptible to a breakdown in fractal complexity associated with disease and can potentially slow down the aging process due to their lifestyle.