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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2009 Mar;63(3):421-9. Epub 2007 Oct 31.

Sedentary behaviour, physical activity and a continuous metabolic syndrome risk score in adults.

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Department of Movement and Sports Sciences, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.



The association of sedentary behaviour and leisure time physical activity with a validated continuous metabolic syndrome risk score was investigated in adults.


A number of 992 adults (559 men) without cardiovascular disease or diabetes. Subjects reported time spent in leisure time physical activity and television watching/computer activities. A validated metabolic syndrome risk score, based on waist circumference, triglycerides, blood pressure, fasting plasma glucose and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, was used. The metabolic syndrome risk score and time spent in sedentary behaviour and physical activity were analysed as continuous variables using multiple linear regression.


Metabolic syndrome risk was positively associated with time spent watching television/computer activities, irrespective of physical activity level, and after adjustment for age, education level, smoking status and dietary intake in women aged > or =45 years (beta=0.184, P<0.05). Independent of the time being sedentary, moderate to vigorous leisure time physical activity was inversely associated with metabolic syndrome risk in men (<45 years: beta=-0.183, P<0.01; > or =45 years: beta=-0.192, P<0.01) and women aged > or =45 years (beta=-0.203, P<0.01).


Although cross-sectional, the present results support inclusion of efforts to decrease sedentary behaviour in metabolic syndrome prevention strategies for women aged > or =45 years, besides promotion of moderate to vigorous physical activity, since both behavioural changes might show additional effects.

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