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J Physiol Anthropol. 2008 Jun;27(4):179-84.

Pedometer-determined physical activity and indicators of health in Japanese adults.

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  • 1Faculty of Human Health, Hachinohe University, Japan.


Recently, many cross-sectional studies observed that body mass index (BMI) and percentage of body fat (%BF) were inversely associated with pedometer-determined physical activities, but studies on Asian populations, including the Japanese, are sparse. Height, weight, body fat percentage (%BF, bioelectrical impedance analyzer), and waist circumference were measured on 117 women (62.8+/-4.5 years, 22.2+/-2.2 kg/m(2)) and 62 men (64.0+/-4.6 years, 23.6+/-2.5 kg/m(2)). Pearson correlations and partial correlation coefficients after controlling for age were calculated between steps/day and variables. Furthermore, participants were classified into four groups as follows: <5,000, 5,000-7,499, 7,500-9,999, and >or=10,000 steps/day, and analyzed using ANOVA across activity groups. In women, a significant correlation was found between steps/day and BMI (r=-0.217, p=0.018), %BF (r=-0.292, p=0.0014), and the relationship was still significant after controlling for age. The relationship between steps/day and waist circumference was not significant. In men, a significant relationship was not observed between steps/day and obesity indices. The correlations between steps/day and both BMI and %BF were significant in Japanese women, but weak compared with Caucasian and African-American women as reported previously. A possible cause is racial difference in degree of obesity and body shape. The effects of physical activity on body shape and composition may differ according to race.

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