Effects of Recreational Physical Activity on Abdominal Obesity in Obese South Korean Adults

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Nov 8;19(22):14634. doi: 10.3390/ijerph192214634.


This study investigated the effects of general characteristics, health behaviors, and level of physical activity on abdominal obesity in obese adults (BMI (body mass index) ≥ 25 kg/m2) using data from the seventh period (2016-2018) of the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES). We also prepared basic data on the improvement and management of abdominal obesity. The participants were 2343 obese adults (men, 1338; women, 1005) from the KNHANES. Factors relevant to abdominal obesity in obese Korean women were general characteristics (age, marital status, occupation, education, and menopause) and health behaviors (time for recreational physical activities and energy intake). In men, these factors tended to be health behaviors, including time spent on leisure physical activity, and sitting. It was found that over 600 Mets/week of recreational physical activity for both adult men and women reduced the incidence of abdominal obesity after adjusting for general characteristics and health behaviors (odds ratio (95% CI); men 0.69 (0.51-0.92); women, 0.61 (0.40-0.94)). Therefore, to prevent or improve abdominal obesity in obese adults in Korea, it is necessary to consider general characteristics and health behaviors according to sex. In addition, maintaining a physical activity rate of over 600 Mets/week is also recommended.

Keywords: Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES); abdominal obesity; recreational physical activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Obesity* / epidemiology
  • Obesity* / etiology
  • Obesity, Abdominal* / complications

Grants and funding

This work was supported by the Rural Development Administration’s research project (PJ015269022022).