Research Study Abstract

Associations Between Free Living Activity Intensity, Adiposity, and Risk Markers for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease

  • Added on July 25, 2011

Introduction Vigorous physical activity has been linked to greater longevity, greater loss of body fat mass, and improved insulin sensitivity. Current exercise guidelines now include recommendations for vigorous activity in recognition of these findings. The present study aimed to describe the free living physical activity intensity profile of lean (L) and overweight / obese (O/O) Scottish adults, and to investigate associations between activity intensity, adiposity, and risk markers of disease.

Methods 55 adults (n=33 L and n=22 O/O) attended the laboratory on 2 occasions. On the first session body mass, height, BMI, body fat and resting blood pressure and heart rate (HR) were recorded. Participants were then instructed to wear an ActiGraph accelerometer and HR monitor for two periods of 6 consecutive days to monitor free living activity intensity. Participants then attended the laboratory in the morning after an overnight fast (>10 hrs) to obtain a resting venous blood sample for analysis of cardiovascular and metabolic disease risk markers.

Results There was no significant difference between L and O/O groups in the percentage of registered time spent in sedentary behaviours or active behaviours (L 54.5±1.2%, O/O 54.9±2.1%, for sedentary behaviour). O/O and L adults completed 54.9±3.6 and 47.7±6.5 mins of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) per day, respectively. No differences were noted for percentage of active time in light or moderate intensity between groups. However, a significant difference.

Conclusion The O/O adults had elevated cardiovascular and metabolic disease risk markers but L adults did not. Both groups achieved 30 min of MVPA per day, but the L group also met current guidelines for vigorous physical activity. Adiposity was strongly associated with disease risk markers, but vigorous activity was also associated with some risk markers. These data suggest that more work is needed to explore the beneficial effects of vigorous intensity exercise on adiposity and cardiovascular and metabolic risk markers.