Is there a relationship between accelerometer-assessed physical activity and sedentary behavior and cognitive function in US Hispanic/Latino adults? The Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL)

Prev Med. 2017 Oct:103:43-48. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2017.07.024. Epub 2017 Jul 29.


Normative changes in cognitive function are expected with increasing age. Research on the relationship between normative cognitive decline and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and sedentary behavior (SED) needs further investigation in Hispanic/Latinos adults. We assessed the cross-sectional association between accelerometer assessed MVPA and SED with cognitive function in 7,478 adults aged 45-74years from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos. At baseline, cognitive tests included two executive function tests (Digit Symbol Substitution Test (DSST), a test of language (Word Fluency), and a test of memory (Spanish English Verbal Learning Test). Multiple regression models were used to examine associations of time spent in MVPA and SED with cognitive function by age groups, adjusted for age, education, sex, acculturation, and field center. Mean time spent in sedentary behaviors was 12.3h/day in females and 11.9 h/day in males (75% and 77% of accelerometer wear time, respectively). Higher SED, but not MVPA, was associated with lower DSST raw scores (β -0.03 with each 10-min increment in SED; P<0.05), indicating lower performance in executive function in all age groups. No associations were observed for MVPA and SED with tests of language or memory tests. Our findings suggest a distinct association of SED but not MVPA on executive functioning in middle-aged and older Latino adults. Longitudinal studies are needed to more conclusively determine causal links.

Keywords: Cognition; Cognitive function; Hispanics; Latinos; Physical activity; Sedentary behavior.

MeSH terms

  • Accelerometry / statistics & numerical data*
  • Aged
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests / statistics & numerical data
  • Public Health
  • Sedentary Behavior*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States