Abundant daily non-sedentary activity is associated with reduced prevalence of metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance

J Endocrinol Invest. 2013 Dec;36(11):1069-75. doi: 10.3275/9066. Epub 2013 Jul 26.


Background: Non-exercise activity thermogenesis has recently drawn attention because of its potential to prevent weight gain.

Aim: This study evaluated the relationships between the duration of daily non-sedentary activities and the prevalence of metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance (IR) in the Japanese population.

Material/subjects and methods: A total of 518 eligible subjects (380 men and 138 women) who attended the Tokushima Prefectural General Health Checkup Center and participated in the baseline survey of a cohort study conducted in Tokushima Prefecture, Japan were analyzed. Information about lifestyle characteristics including leisure-time exercise and daily non-exercise activities was obtained from a questionnaire. Logistic and multiple linear regression analyses were performed to evaluate the associations between the duration of daily non-exercise non-sedentary activities (beyond sitting) and prevalence of metabolic syndrome (and its components) and IR.

Results: Subjects with longer duration of daily non-sedentary activities had significantly lower adjusted odds ratios for metabolic syndrome (p for trend =0.024), abdominal obesity (p for trend =0.023), and low HDLcholesterol levels (p for trend =0.002), after adjustment for sex, age, and other probable covariates including leisure-time exercise. Longer duration of daily non-sedentary activities was further associated with lower homeostasis model of assessment- IR (HOMA-IR) values (p for trend =0.009).

Conclusions: Our results suggest that abundant daily non-sedentary activity might be associated with a lower prevalence of metabolic syndrome, especially for the components of central obesity and low HDL-cholesterol levels, and with a lower prevalence of IR, independent of leisure-time exercise.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sedentary Behavior


  • Cholesterol, HDL