International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ)—long form was used to measure the physical activities and sedentary activities (15). Since all participants were full-time students, the occupational PA domain was removed. For each domain of PA (i.e., transportation, housework, and leisure-time), a score was summed up separately. Specifically, the number of minutes of moderate activity (including walking and riding) and two times of the number of minutes of vigorous activity were added up in each domain (16). Then, a total PA score was calculated by adding the scores of all domains. Moderate activities are defined as those performed for at least 10 min that produce a moderate increase in respiration and heart rate, and cause sweating, while vigorous activities are those producing a greater increase in respiration, heart rate, and sweating. According to the guidelines of the US Department of Health and Human Services (17), sufficient PA was defined as ≥150 min/week. The PA was categorized into three levels: none, 1–149 min/weeks, and ≥150 min/weeks (18). Changs in PA levels were grouped into: increased, constant, and decreased, while increased indicates moving from lower levels to higher levels, decreased represents moving from higher levels to lower levels, and constant means staying in the same levels. The same rule applied to changes in sedentary behavior levels.

Information regarding sedentary behavior was collected by the IPAQ, too. Average time spent in sedentary behaviors (e.g., watching TV) during the three stages was recorded for workdays and weekends separately.

In addition to the IPAQ-long form, the variables that were also collected were: sex, age, ethnicity, urbanicity, region, household income, major and current education level.

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