Tracking of activity and fitness and the relationship with cardiovascular disease risk factors

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2000 Aug;32(8):1455-61. doi: 10.1097/00005768-200008000-00014.


Purpose: To analyze tracking of daily physical activity and physical fitness (both cardiopulmonary [VO2max] and neuromotor fitness) and the longitudinal relationship with biological risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD), i.e., total serum cholesterol (TC), high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the TC:HDL ratio, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and the sum of four skinfolds.

Methods: Data were obtained from the Amsterdam Growth and Health Study; an observational longitudinal study with six repeated measurements over a period from 13 to 27 yr of age (N = 181). The statistical analyses were carried out with generalized estimating equations.

Results: Low to moderate tracking (both stability and predictability of early measurements) was observed for daily physical activity and VO2max, whereas good tracking was observed for neuromotor fitness. Daily physical activity was positively related to HDL (P < 0.01), and inversely to the TC:HDL ratio (P < 0.05) and to the sum of four skinfolds (P < 0.01). VO2max was also inversely related to the TC:HDL ratio (P < 0.01) and to the sum of four skinfolds (P < 0.01). In addition, VOmax was also inversely related to TC (P < 0.01). Neuromotor fitness was inversely related to the sum of four skinfolds (P < 0.01), and positively to systolic blood pressure (P < 0.01).

Conclusions: The longitudinal development of physical activity and VO2max were related to a healthy CVD risk profile. For the development of neuromotor fitness, the picture was less clear. The relationships among physical activity, physical fitness, and lipoproteins and blood pressure were highly influenced by body fatness.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Blood Pressure / physiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Physical Fitness / physiology*
  • Risk Factors