Physical Activity Intensity and Cardiometabolic Risk in Youth

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2012 Nov;166(11):1022-9. doi: 10.1001/archpediatrics.2012.1028.

Abstract

Objective: To determine the association between physical activity (PA) intensities and cardiometabolic risk factors in youth.

Design: Cross-sectional study using data from the 2008 Healthy Hearts Prospective Cohort Study of Physical Activity and Cardiometabolic Health in Youth.

Setting: Rural and urban communities in Alberta, Canada.

Participants: A convenience sample of 605 youth aged 9 to 17 years. Youth were on average aged 12.1 years, 248 were boys (41%), and 157 were overweight or obese (26%).

Main exposure: Actical accelerometer-measured PA intensity.

Main outcomes measures: The primary outcome was body mass index (calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared) z score. Secondary outcome measures included waist circumference, systolic blood pressure, and cardiorespiratory fitness (maximal oxygen consumption [[Vdot]O2max]).

Results: Body mass index z score, waist circumference, and systolic blood pressure decreased and [Vdot]O2max increased in a dose-response manner across tertiles of vigorous PA (adjusted P < .001). No significant differences in cardiometabolic risk factors were seen across tertiles of moderate or light PA in multivariable analyses. Achieving more than 7 minutes of vigorous PA daily was associated with a reduced adjusted odds ratio of overweight status (0.56; 95% CI, 0.33-0.95) and elevated systolic blood pressure (0.36; 95% CI, 0.16-0.79). The odds of overweight status and elevated blood pressure decreased with increasing time and intensity of PA.

Conclusions: Only vigorous PA was consistently associated with lower levels of waist circumference, body mass index z score, systolic blood pressure, and increased cardiorespiratory fitness in youth. These findings underscore the importance of vigorous PA in guidelines for children and adolescents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accelerometry
  • Adolescent
  • Alberta
  • Blood Pressure*
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Overweight / physiopathology
  • Overweight / prevention & control
  • Oxygen Consumption*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk
  • Time Factors
  • Waist Circumference*