Activity level and risk of overweight in male health professionals

Am J Public Health. 1996 Jan;86(1):25-30. doi: 10.2105/ajph.86.1.25.


Objectives: This study undertook to examine relationships between nonsedentary activity level, time spent watching television (TV)/videocassette recorder (VCR), and risk of overweight among men.

Methods: Men participating in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study were mailed surveys. Cross-sectional analyses examined the prevalence and odds of being overweight, prospective analyses determined cumulative incidence rates and relative risks of becoming overweight over 2 years of follow-up.

Results: Cross-sectionally, odds of being overweight were 50% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 45%; 55%) lower for men in the highest quintile of nonsedentary activity level when compared with men in the lowest quintile. Among men watching 41 or more hours of TV/VCR per week, the odds of being overweight were 406 (95% CI = 2.67, 6.17) times greater than those for men watching no more than 1 hour per week. Prospectively, higher levels is of nonsedentary activity and lower levels of TV/VCR viewing were independently associated with lower relative risks for becoming overweight between survey years.

Conclusions: Both a lack of nonsedentary activity and time spent watching TV/VCR contribute to the development of overweight in men. Sedentary and nonsedentary activities represent separate domains, each with independent risks for overweight.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Personnel* / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity*
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology