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Metab Syndr Relat Disord. 2012 Feb;10(1):70-6. doi: 10.1089/met.2011.0057. Epub 2011 Oct 19.

Total physical activity volume, physical activity intensity, and metabolic syndrome: 1999-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

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Brooks College of Health, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, Florida 32224, USA.



This study examined the association of total physical activity volume (TPAV) and physical activity (PA) from three domains [leisure-time physical activity (LTPA), domestic, transportation] with metabolic syndrome. We also investigated the relationship between LTPA intensity and metabolic syndrome risk.


Sample included adults who participated in the 1999-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Physical activity measures were created for TPAV, LTPA, domestic PA, and transportational PA. For each, a six-level measure based upon no PA (level 1) and quintiles (levels 2-6) of metabolic equivalents (MET)·min·wk(-1) was created. A three-level variable associated with the current Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) PA recommendation was also created. SAS and SUDAAN were used for the statistical analysis.


Adults reporting the greatest volume of TPAV and LTPA were found to be 36% [odds ratio (OR) 0.64; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.49-0.83] and 42% (OR 0.58; 95% CI 0.43-0.77), respectively, less likely to have metabolic syndrome. Domestic and transportational PA provided no specific level of protection from metabolic syndrome. Those reporting a TPAV that met the DHHS PA recommendation were found to be 33% (OR 0.67; 95%; CI 0.55-0.83) less likely to have metabolic syndrome compared to their sedentary counterparts. Adults reporting engaging in only vigorous-intensity LTPA were found to be 37% (OR 0.63; 95 CI 0.42-0.96) to 56% (OR 0.44; 95% CI 0.29-0.67) less likely to have metabolic syndrome.


Volume, intensity, and domain of PA may all play important roles in reducing the prevalence and risk of metabolic syndrome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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