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SIMONEN, R. L., L. PERUSSE, T. RANKINEN, T. RICE, D. C. RAO, and C. BOUCHARD. Familial aggregation of physical activity levels in the Quebec family study. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 34, No. 7, pp. 1137-1142, 2002.

Purpose: Familial aggregation of physical activity phenotypes was investigated in 696 subjects from 200 families of the Quebec Family Study. The mean age of offspring and parents was 27 and 53 yr, respectively.

Methods: The levels of physical activity were estimated using a 3-d diary and a questionnaire dealing with physical activity during the past year.

Results: An ANOVA performed on the age and sex adjusted physical activity phenotypes revealed that there were 1.40-1.52 times more variation in physical activity levels between families than within families (0.001

Conclusion: These results suggest that physical activity level is characterized by a significant degree of familial resemblance, and that inactivity has a slightly higher heritability level than moderate to strenuous physical activity or total physical activity phenotypes. The pattern of familial correlations suggests that shared familial environmental factors along with genetic factors are also important in accounting for the familial resemblance in physical activity level.

(C)2002The American College of Sports Medicine