Aims: Over the study years, there was a significant increase in body mass index (BMI) and waist-to-height ratio (WtHR) in middle aged Finnish adults. Methods: Data were obtained from 1033 Finnish adults from the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study in 2007 and 2011. Cohort study participants wore an Omron Walking Style One (HJ-152R-E) pedometer for five days and were grouped into those who increased, maintained and decreased their steps between 2007 and 2011. Paired samples t-test was used to compare body mass index (BMI) and waist-to-height ratio (WtHR) change values between the change groups in study years. Results: Among study population BMI and WtHR increase between study years was statistically significant (p < 0.001). Only those, who increased their total steps for at least 2000 steps, maintained their BMI in the same level, while people who decreased or maintained their total steps in the same level, BMI and WtHR increased during four years follow-up. Conclusions: This data suggests that increasing steps in middle age is associated with maintaining BMI at the same level.
Keywords: adults; body mass index; follow-up; pedometer; physical activity; waist-to-height ratio.