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Prev Chronic Dis. 2014 Dec 18;11:E219. doi: 10.5888/pcd11.140196.

Associations between physical activity and cardiometabolic risk factors assessed in a Southern California health care system, 2010-2012.

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Department of Research & Evaluation, Kaiser Permanente Southern California, 100 S. Los Robles, 2nd Floor, Pasadena CA 91101. E-mail:
Department of Research and Evaluation, Kaiser Permanente Southern California, Pasadena, California.
Department of Family Medicine, Fontana Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente Southern California, Fontana, California.



Risk factors associated with many chronic diseases can be improved through regular physical activity. This study investigated whether cross-sectional associations between physical activity, assessed by the Exercise Vital Sign (EVS), and cardiometabolic risk factors can be detected in clinical settings.


We used electronic records from Kaiser Permanente Southern California members (N = 622,897) to examine the association of EVS category with blood pressure, fasting glucose, random glucose, and glycosylated hemoglobin. Adults aged 18 years or older with at least 3 EVS measures between April 2010 and December 2012, without comorbid conditions, and not taking antihypertension or glucose-lowering medications were included. We compared consistently inactive (EVS = 0 min/wk for every measure) with consistently active (EVS ≥150 min/wk) and irregularly active (EVS 1-149 min/wk or not meeting the consistently active or inactive criteria) patients. Separate linear regression analyses were conducted controlling for age, sex, race/ethnicity, body mass index, and smoking status.


Consistently active women had lower systolic (-4.60 mm Hg; 95% confidence interval [CI], -4.70 to -4.44) and diastolic (-3.28 mm Hg; 95% CI, -3.40 to -3.17) blood pressure than inactive women. Active men had lower diastolic blood pressure than inactive men. Consistently active patients (women, -5.27 mg/dL [95% CI, -5.56 to -4.97]; men, -1.45 mg/dL [95% CI, -1.75 to -1.16] and irregularly active patients (women, -4.57 mg/dL [95% CI, -4.80 to -4.34]; men, -0.42 mg/dL [95% CI, -0.66 to -0.19]) had lower fasting glucose than consistently inactive patients. Consistently active and irregularly active men and women also had favorable random glucose and HbA1c compared with consistently inactive patients.


Routine clinical physical activity assessment may give health care providers additional information about their patients' cardiometabolic risk factors.

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