Exercise, regardless of intensity, improves cardiometabolic health of obese adults
All intensities of physical activity (PA) seem to improve markers of cardiometabolic health among obese adults, including insulin sensitivity and plasma lipid profile, a recent study has found. In contrast, a high degree of sedentary behaviour (SB) negatively impacts cardiometabolic health.
The researchers conducted a cross-sectional investigation of 144 adults (mean age, 57±6.5 years; 71 percent female) who had an average body mass index (BMI) of 31.7±4 kg/m2. Hip-worn accelerometers were used to measure sedentary behaviour, standing time, and light (LPA) and moderate-to-vigorous (MVPA) PA over 4 consecutive weeks.
Participants wore the device for a mean of 25±4 days and for 14.37±1.04 hours per day. Sixty-seven percent of the accelerometer wear time was spent in sedentary activity, and each participant took an average of 5,265±2,113 steps per day.
Accelerometer parameters significantly correlated with BMI. MVPA time was inversely and significantly associated with BMI (p=0.0051). Notably, the number of steps taken per day (p=0.0003) and breaks in sedentary time (p<0.0001) emerged as strong inverse predictors of BMI.
Insulin concentrations and fasting plasma levels of glucose and triglycerides also correlated with accelerometer variables. SB, for instance, was a significant and positive indicator of all three markers. Exercise, on the other hand, was inversely associated with insulin and fasting plasma triglycerides, regardless of intensity.
“The total daily duration of PA may be more relevant than intensity in maintaining metabolic health in overweight adults, if the current guidelines for PA are not met,” the researchers said.