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Leisure-time physical activity dose‑response effects on obesity among US adults: results from the 1999–2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
  1. Dong-Chul Seo1,
  2. Kaigang Li2
  1. 1Department of Applied Health Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA
  2. 2Department of Health policy, Management and Behavior, University at Albany, Rensselaer, NY12144
  1. Correspondence to Dong-Chul Seo, Department of Applied Health Science, Indiana University, HPER Building 116, 1025 East 7th Street, Bloomington, IN 47405-4801, USA; seo{at}indiana.edu

Abstract

Background It is not well established whether total volume of leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) has dose‑response effects on obesity.

Methods The dose‑response relationship was examined using 12 227 non-institutionalised individuals, aged 20‑64 years, drawn from the 8 years (1999–2006) of the continuous National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a nationally representative sample of the US population.

Results The age-adjusted prevalence of women's obesity was 41.4% for those with no LTPA in the past month; 39.1% for those who engaged in LTPA but fell short of the recommended minimum amount of LTPA (ie, <450 metabolic equivalent minutes per week (MET min/week)); 31.0% for those who met the recommended minimum guideline (ie, 450 to < 750); 28.0% for those whose LTPA exceeded the minimum guideline but less than the first quartile among the overachievers (ie, 750 to <1260); 23.4% for the overachievers between the first and third quartile (ie, 1260 to <3556); and 19.5% for the overachievers at or above the third quartile (ie, 3556 MET min/week or above). This association was maintained even after occupational physical activity (OPA) was controlled. However, this pattern was not observed for Mexican and black adults and showed a floor effect as LTPA increased.

Conclusions There is a crude graded inverse dose‑response relationship between total volume of LTPA and obesity in US adult women, but not in men. Gender and racial/ethnic differences exist in the relationship of accumulated LTPA with obesity due, in part, to differential ratios of LTPA to OPA.

  • Dose‑response effect
  • leisure-time physical activity
  • obesity
  • obesity EPI
  • physical activity

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Footnotes

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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