ACTIHEALTH: Physical activity epidemiology in the high north

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ACTIHEALTH is a project concerning with physical activity research in population-based studies such as the Tromsø Study, SAMINOR, the Finnmark Study, and Fit Futures, both in terms of data collection by accelerometers and questionnaires, and by providing data for our epidemiological research, resulting in several PhDs and additional papers.

Our epidemiological research is heavily based om data from the Tromsø Study, as well as Fit Futures, SAMINOR, Finnmarksundersøkelsen, and other population studies and national registries:  



  1. Beldo SK, Aars NA, Christoffersen T, Furberg AS, Halvorsen PA, Hansen BH, Horsch A, Sagelv EH, Syed S, Morseth B: Criterion validity of the Saltin-Grimby Physical Activity Level Scale in adolescents. The Fit Futures Study. PLoS One 2022, 17(9):e0273480.
  2. Beldo SK, Morseth B, Christoffersen T, Halvorsen PA, Hansen BH, Furberg AS, Ekelund U, Horsch A: Prevalence of accelerometer-measured physical activity in adolescents in Fit Futures - part of the Tromso Study. BMC public health 2020, 20(1):1127.
  3. Bothun Ø, Zoglowek H: Daily physical activity of Saami primary school in northern Norway. Revija za elementarno izobraževanje 2018, 11(4):341-356.
  4. Danielsen KH, Varnes TK, Sagelv EH, Heitmann KA, Mathisen GE: Seasonal variations in physical activity among Norwegian elementary school children in Arctic regions. International journal of circumpolar health 2021, 80(1):2004688.
  5. Hoaas H, Zanaboni P, Hjalmarsen A, Morseth B, Dinesen B, Burge AT, Cox NS, Holland AE: Seasonal variations in objectively assessed physical activity among people with COPD in two Nordic countries and Australia: a cross-sectional study. International journal of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 2019, 14:1219-1228.
  6. Morseth B, Hopstock LA: Time trends in physical activity in the Tromso study: An update. PLoS One 2020, 15(4):e0231581.
  7. Morseth B, Jacobsen BK, Emaus N, Wilsgaard T, Jorgensen L: Secular trends and correlates of physical activity: The Tromso Study 1979-2008. BMC public health 2016, 16(1):1215.
  8. Morseth B, Jorgensen L, Emaus N, Jacobsen BK, Wilsgaard T: Tracking of leisure time physical activity during 28 yr in adults: the Tromso study. Medicine and science in sports and exercise 2011, 43(7):1229-1234.
  9. Rosenbaum S, Morell R, Abdel-Baki A, Ahmadpanah M, Anilkumar TV, Baie L, Bauman A, Bender S, Boyan Han J, Brand S et al: Assessing physical activity in people with mental illness: 23-country reliability and validity of the simple physical activity questionnaire (SIMPAQ). BMC Psychiatry 2020, 20(1):108.
  10. Sagelv EH, Ekelund U, Pedersen S, Brage S, Hansen BH, Johansson J, Grimsgaard S, Nordstrom A, Horsch A, Hopstock LA, Morseth B: Physical activity levels in adults and elderly from triaxial and uniaxial accelerometry. The Tromso Study. PLoS One 2019, 14(12):e0225670.
  11. Sagelv EH, Hopstock LA, Johansson J, Hansen BH, Brage S, Horsch A, Ekelund U, Morseth B: Criterion validity of two physical activity and one sedentary time questionnaire against accelerometry in a large cohort of adults and older adults. BMJ Open Sport Exerc Med 2020, 6(1):e000661.
  12. Syed S, Morseth B, Hopstock LA, Horsch A: Evaluating the performance of raw and epoch non-wear algorithms using multiple accelerometers and electrocardiogram recordings. Sci Rep 2020, 10(1):5866.
  13. Syed S, Morseth B, Hopstock LA, Horsch A: A novel algorithm to detect non-wear time from raw accelerometer data using deep convolutional neural networks. Sci Rep 2021, 11(1):8832.
  14. van Hees VT, Thaler-Kall K, Wolf KH, Brond JC, Bonomi A, Schulze M, Vigl M, Morseth B, Hopstock LA, Gorzelniak L et al: Challenges and Opportunities for Harmonizing Research Methodology: Raw Accelerometry. Methods Inf Med 2016, 55(6):525-532.
  15. Weitz M, Syed S, Hopstock LA, Morseth B, Prasad DK, Horsch A: Discrimination of sleep and wake periods from a hip-worn raw acceleration sensor using recurrent neural networks. In.: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory; 2022.
  16. Weitz MS, Morseth B, Hopstock LA, Horsch LA: Influence of Accelerometer Calibration on the Estimation of Objectively Measured Physical Activity: The Tromsø Study. Journal for the Measurement of Physical Behaviour (JMPB) 2023

  1. Hauger AV, Holvik K, Bergland A, Stahle A, Emaus N, Morseth B, Strand BH: Physical capability, physical activity, and their association with femoral bone mineral density in adults aged 40 years and older: The Tromso study 2015-2016. Osteoporos Int 2021, 32(10):2083-2094.
  2. Holvik K, Dahl C, Søgaard A-J, Solbakken SM, Tell GS, Hoff M, Kjeldgaard HK, Apalset EM, Morseth B, Grimnes G et al: Educational gradient in hip fracture incidence in Norway. The Norwegian Epidemiologic Osteoporosis Studies (NOREPOS). In., vol. 31: Norsk forening for epidemiologi; 2023: 22-22.
  3. Johansson J, Emaus N, Geelhoed B, Sagelv E, Morseth B: Vertebral Fractures Assessed by Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry and All-Cause Mortality: The Tromso Study, 2007-2020. Am J Epidemiol 2023, 192(1):62-69.
  4. Johansson J, Hult A, Morseth B, Nordstrom A, Nordstrom P: Self-reported protein intake and properties of bone in community-dwelling older individuals. Arch Osteoporos 2018, 13(1):10.
  5. Johansson J, Morseth B, Scott D, Strand BH, Hopstock LA, Grimsgaard S: Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity modifies the relationship between sedentary time and sarcopenia: the Tromso Study 2015-2016. J Cachexia Sarcopenia Muscle 2021, 12(4):955-963.
  6. Johansson J, Strand BH, Morseth B, Hopstock LA, Grimsgaard S: Differences in sarcopenia prevalence between upper-body and lower-body based EWGSOP2 muscle strength criteria: the Tromso study 2015-2016. BMC Geriatr 2020, 20(1):461.
  7. Mikkila S, Calogiuri G, Emaus N, Morseth B: A cross-sectional and 6-year follow-up study of associations between leisure time physical activity and vertebral fracture in adults. BMC musculoskeletal disorders 2019, 20(1):435.
  8. Mikkila S, Johansson J, Nordstrom A, Nordstrom P, Emaus N, Handegard BH, Morseth B, Welde B: A 15-year follow-up study of hip bone mineral density and associations with leisure time physical activity. The Tromso Study 2001-2016. PLoS One 2022, 17(1):e0262228.
  9. Morseth B, Ahmed LA, Bjornerem A, Emaus N, Jacobsen BK, Joakimsen R, Stormer J, Wilsgaard T, Jorgensen L: Leisure time physical activity and risk of non-vertebral fracture in men and women aged 55 years and older: the Tromso Study. Eur J Epidemiol 2012, 27(6):463-471.
  10. Morseth B, Emaus N, Jørgensen L: Physical activity and bone: The importance of the various mechanical stimuli for bone mineral density. A review. Norsk Epidemiologi 2011, 20(2):173-178.
  11. Morseth B, Emaus N, Wilsgaard T, Jacobsen BK, Jorgensen L: Leisure time physical activity in adulthood is positively associated with bone mineral density 22 years later. The Tromso study. Eur J Epidemiol 2010, 25(5):325-331.
  12. Morseth B, Melbye H, Waterloo S, Thomassen MR, Risberg MJ, Emaus N: Cross-sectional associations between prevalent vertebral fracture and pulmonary function in the sixth Tromso study. BMC Geriatr 2013, 13:116.
  13. Teterina A, Niratisairak S, Morseth B, Bolstad N: Diagnostic efficacy of radiomorphometric indices for predicting osteoporosis in a Norwegian population in the Tromso Study: Tromso7. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol 2023, 135(3):444-455.
  14. Teterina A, Niratisairak S, Morseth B, Bolstad N: General and local predictors of mandibular cortical bone morphology in adult females and males: the seventh survey of the Tromso Study. Clin Oral Investig 2023, 27(11):6577-6587.
  15. Waterloo S, Ahmed LA, Center JR, Eisman JA, Morseth B, Nguyen ND, Nguyen T, Sogaard AJ, Emaus N: Prevalence of vertebral fractures in women and men in the population-based Tromso Study. BMC musculoskeletal disorders 2012, 13:3.
  16. Waterloo S, Nguyen T, Ahmed LA, Center JR, Morseth B, Nguyen ND, Eisman JA, Sogaard AJ, Emaus N: Important risk factors and attributable risk of vertebral fractures in the population-based Tromso study. BMC musculoskeletal disorders 2012, 13:163.
  17. Waterloo S, Sogaard AJ, Ahmed LA, Damsgard E, Morseth B, Emaus N: Vertebral fractures and self-perceived health in elderly women and men in a population-based cross-sectional study: the Tromso Study 2007-08. BMC Geriatr 2013, 13:102.
  1. Ball J, Lochen ML, Wilsgaard T, Schirmer H, Hopstock LA, Morseth B, Mathiesen EB, Njolstad I, Tiwari S, Sharashova E: Sex Differences in the Impact of Body Mass Index on the Risk of Future Atrial Fibrillation: Insights From the Longitudinal Population-Based Tromso Study. J Am Heart Assoc 2018, 7(9):19.
  2. Heitmann KA, Løchen M-L, Stylidis M, Hopstock LA, Schirmer H, Morseth B: Associations between physical activity, left atrial size and incident atrial fibrillation: the Tromsø Study 1994–2016. Open Heart 2022, 9(1):e001823.
  3. Heitmann KA, Lochen ML, Hopstock LA, Stylidis M, Welde B, Schirmer H, Morseth B: Cross-sectional associations between accelerometry-measured physical activity, left atrial size, and indices of left ventricular diastolic dysfunction: The Tromso Study. Prev Med Rep 2021, 21:101290.
  4. Heitmann KA, Welde B, Lochen ML, Stylidis M, Schirmer H, Morseth B: Longitudinal Associations Between Cumulative Physical Activity and Change in Structure and Function of the Left Side of the Heart: The Tromso Study 2007-2016. Front Cardiovasc Med 2022, 9:882077.
  5. Johansen KR, Ranhoff AH, Sorensen E, Nes BM, Bucher-Sandbakk S, Wilsgaard T, Lochen ML, Thelle DS, Morseth B, Myrstad M, Nexaf: Ten-year mortality among older male recreational endurance athletes in the Birkebeiner Aging Study in comparison with older men from the Tromso Study. Scand J Med Sci Sports 2023, 33(8):1541-1551.
  6. Johansen KR, Ranhoff AH, Sorensen E, Nes BM, Heitmann KA, Apelland T, Bucher Sandbakk S, Wilsgaard T, Lochen ML, Thelle DS et al: Risk of atrial fibrillation and stroke among older men exposed to prolonged endurance sport practice: a 10-year follow-up. The Birkebeiner Ageing Study and the Tromso Study. Open Heart 2022, 9(2):e002154.
  7. Johansen KR, Sørensen E, Ranhoff AH, Myrstad M: Exercise and prevalence of cardiovascular disease in older female endurance athletes during 10 years follow-up. In., vol. 30; 2023: 1.
  8. Morseth B, Geelhoed B, Linneberg A, Johansson L, Kuulasmaa K, Salomaa V, Iacoviello L, Costanzo S, Soderberg S, Niiranen TJ et al: Age-specific atrial fibrillation incidence, attributable risk factors and risk of stroke and mortality: results from the MORGAM Consortium. Open Heart 2021, 8(2).
  9. Morseth B, Graff-Iversen S, Jacobsen BK, Jorgensen L, Nyrnes A, Thelle DS, Vestergaard P, Lochen ML: Physical activity, resting heart rate, and atrial fibrillation: the Tromso Study. Eur Heart J 2016, 37(29):2307-2313.
  10. Morseth B, Lochen ML, Ariansen I, Myrstad M, Thelle DS: The ambiguity of physical activity, exercise and atrial fibrillation. Eur J Prev Cardiol 2018, 25(6):624-636.
  11. Myrstad M, Johansen KR, Sorensen E, Ranhoff AH: Rationale and design of the Birkebeiner Ageing Study - a prospective cohort study of older endurance athletes. BMC Geriatr 2023, 23(1):365.
  12. Sharashova E, Wilsgaard T, Ball J, Morseth B, Gerdts E, Hopstock LA, Mathiesen EB, Schirmer H, Lochen ML: Long-term blood pressure trajectories and incident atrial fibrillation in women and men: the Tromso Study. Eur Heart J 2020, 41(16):1554-1562.
  1. Deraas TS, Hopstock L, Henriksen A, Morseth B, Sand AS, Njolstad I, Pedersen S, Sagelv E, Johansson J, Grimsgaard S: Complex lifestyle intervention among inactive older adults with elevated cardiovascular disease risk and obesity: a mixed-method, single-arm feasibility study for RESTART-a randomized controlled trial. Pilot Feasibility Stud 2021, 7(1):190.
  2. Hermansen R, Broderstad AR, Jacobsen BK, Mahonen M, Wilsgaard T, Morseth B: The impact of changes in leisure time physical activity on changes in cardiovascular risk factors: results from The Finnmark 3 Study and SAMINOR 1, 1987-2003. International journal of circumpolar health 2018, 77(1):1459145.
  3. Hermansen R, Jacobsen BK, Lochen ML, Morseth B: Leisure time and occupational physical activity, resting heart rate and mortality in the Arctic region of Norway: The Finnmark Study. Eur J Prev Cardiol 2019, 26(15):1636-1644.
  4. Hopstock LA, Morseth B, Cook S, Eggen AE, Grimsgaard S, Lundblad MW, Lochen ML, Mathiesen E, Nilsen A, Njolstad I: Treatment target achievement after myocardial infarction and ischaemic stroke: cardiovascular risk factors, medication use, and lifestyle: the Tromso Study 2015-16. Eur J Prev Cardiol 2022, 29(2):362-370.
  5. Morseth B, Løchen M: Fysisk aktivitet og effekt på hjertesykdom og død. Hjerteforum 2014, 27(1):26-32.
  6. Renninger M, Lochen ML, Ekelund U, Hopstock LA, Jorgensen L, Mathiesen EB, Njolstad I, Schirmer H, Wilsgaard T, Morseth B: The independent and joint associations of physical activity and body mass index with myocardial infarction: The Tromso Study. Prev Med 2018, 116:94-98.
  7. Sagelv EH, Dalene KE, Eggen AE, Ekelund U, Fimland MS, Heitmann KA, Holtermann A, Johansen KR, Lochen ML, Morseth B, Wilsgaard T: Occupational physical activity and risk of mortality in women and men: the Tromso Study 1986-2021. Br J Sports Med 2023.
  8. Sagelv EH, Ekelund U, Hopstock LA, Aars NA, Fimland MS, Jacobsen BK, Lovsletten O, Wilsgaard T, Morseth B: Do declines in occupational physical activity contribute to population gains in body mass index? Tromso Study 1974-2016. Occupational and environmental medicine 2020.
  9. Sagelv EH, Ekelund U, Hopstock LA, Fimland MS, Lovsletten O, Wilsgaard T, Morseth B: The bidirectional associations between leisure time physical activity change and body mass index gain. The Tromso Study 1974-2016. Int J Obes (Lond) 2021, 45(8):1830-1843.
  10. Sagelv EH, Hopstock LA, Morseth B, Hansen BH, Steene-Johannessen J, Johansson J, Nordstrom A, Saint-Maurice PF, Lovsletten O, Wilsgaard T et al: Device-measured physical activity, sedentary time, and risk of all-cause mortality: an individual participant data analysis of four prospective cohort studies. Br J Sports Med 2023, 57(22):1457-1463.
  11. Zanaboni P, Manskow US, Sagelv EH, Morseth B, Edvardsen AE, Aamot IL, Nes BM, Hastings B, Gagnon MP, Antypas K: Digital interventions to promote physical activity among inactive adults: A study protocol for a hybrid type I effectiveness-implementation randomized controlled trial. Front Public Health 2022, 10:925484.

  1. Morseth B, Wilsgaard T, Steingrimsdottir OA: Physical activity and cold pain tolerance in the general population. Eur J Pain 2021, 25(3):637-650.
  2. Arnes AP, Nielsen CS, Stubhaug A, Fjeld MK, Johansen A, Morseth B, Strand BH, Wilsgaard T, Steingrimsdottir OA: Longitudinal relationships between habitual physical activity and pain tolerance in the general population. PLoS One 2023, 18(5):e0285041.
  3. Fjeld MK, Arnes AP, Engdahl B, Morseth B, Hopstock LA, Horsch A, Stubhaug A, Strand BH, Nielsen CS, Steingrimsdottir OA: Consistent pattern between physical activity measures and chronic pain levels: the Tromso Study 2015 to 2016. Pain 2023, 164(4):838-847.
  4. Hoaas H, Morseth B, Holland AE, Zanaboni P: Are Physical activity and Benefits Maintained After Long-Term Telerehabilitation in COPD? Int J Telerehabil 2016, 8(2):39-48.
  5. Physical activity and kidney function



An overview of news articles and conference presentations from ACTIHEALTH studies can be found here


Physical activity in the Tromsø Study

Copyright: © 2020 Morseth, Hopstock. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. Morseth B, Hopstock LA (2020). Time trends in physical activity in the Tromsø study: An update. PLoS ONE 15(11): e0242998.

All seven waves of the Tromsø Study include questionnaires with questions on physical activity in leisure time and at work. In the 7th Tromsø Study, 6125 participants also wore the ActiGraph wGT3X accelerometer and 698 participants wore the Actiwave Cardio accelerometer/ECG measure.


Bente Morseth (Principal investigator)
Tore Christoffersen
André Henriksen
Marc Weitz
Laila Arnesdatter Hopstock
Kristoffer Robin Johansen
Kim Arne Heitmann
Alexander Horsch
Jonas Johansson
Anne Sameline Grimsgaard
Saija Mikkilä

Financial/grant information:

The ACTIHEALTH data collection in Tromsø7 was financed by Odd Berg Gruppens Medisinske Forskningsfond, Simon Fougner Hartmanns Familiefond, Sparebank1 Nord-Norge and UiT.

The research projects are mainly funded by Helse Nord and internal funding.