Objective: To examine the associations between watching television and physical activity with the metabolic syndrome and its components.
Study design: Cross-sectional study.
Methods: This study was conducted among 358 subjects recruited from the Department of Health Management of Chang Gung Medical Centre in Linkou. After adjustment for gender, age and body mass index (BMI), the odds ratios (ORs) of the metabolic syndrome and its components were analysed for relative daily energy expenditure groups and time spent watching television categories.
Results: After adjustment for gender, age and BMI, the OR of the metabolic syndrome in the most active subjects compared with the least active subjects was 0.27 [95% confidence interval (CI)=0.08-0.88; P=0.030]. There was inconclusive evidence of an association between watching television for more than 20h/week and presence of the metabolic syndrome (OR=2.99; 95% CI=0.83-10.84; P=0.095).
Conclusions: Physical activity was a significant protective factor for presence of the metabolic syndrome and low levels of high-density-lipoprotein cholesterol. Watching television was positively associated with greater odds of high levels of triglycerides and fasting glucose. This study emphasized the importance of reducing the time spent watching television and increasing the level of physical activity for prevention of the metabolic syndrome.