Metabolic syndrome risk score and time expended in moderate to vigorous physical activity in adolescents

BMC Pediatr. 2014 Feb 14;14:42. doi: 10.1186/1471-2431-14-42.


Background: The clustering of metabolic syndrome risk factors is inversely related to the amount of physical activity. However, the question remains as to how much daily physical activity is enough to prevent the onset of metabolic disorders in adolescents? Therefore, the objectives of this study were to associate the metabolic risk score with the moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and to identify the amount of daily physical activity to prevent the onset of the metabolic risk factors in Brazilian adolescents.

Methods: The study involved 391 participants aged 10 to 18 years. Physical activity was measured by accelerometry. The counts obtained in the different activities were transformed into metabolic equivalents and classified as light (≥ 1.5 but < 3.0 METs), moderate (≥ 3.0 but < 6.0 METs) and vigorous (≥ 6.0 METs) activities. The continuous risk score for metabolic syndrome was calculated using the following risk factors: waist circumference, blood pressure, blood glucose, HDL-C and triglycerides.

Results: Time spent in MVPA was inversely associated with the continuous risk score for metabolic syndrome (p < 0.05). Analysis of the ROC curve suggests that these adolescents must perform at least 88 minutes per day of MVPA.

Conclusions: These findings reinforce previous evidence that physical activity relates to metabolic syndrome in adolescents. This population should be encouraged to gradually replace part of their sedentary time with physical activities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Metabolic Syndrome / prevention & control*
  • Motor Activity*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors