Steps Per Day Linked to Metabolic Syndrome Prevalence

More active lifestyle associated with lower risk for metabolic syndrome, cardio risk factors
By Monica Smith
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, May 13 (HealthDay News) -- Although public health recommendations have tended to focus on moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, an active lifestyle as measured by steps per day is associated with a reduced prevalence of both metabolic syndrome (MetS) and its cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors, according to research published online May 4 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Susan B. Sisson, Ph.D., of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La., and colleagues evaluated 1,146 adults in the 2005 to 2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 33.5 percent of whom had MetS. All subjects had accelerometer-determined steps per day.

The researchers found that the prevalence of MetS decreased as steps per day increased: 55.7 percent of the participants in the lowest level of steps per day versus 13.3 percent of those in the highest level had MetS. For each additional 1,000 steps per day, the odds of having MetS decreased 10 percent. Those with the greatest volume of steps per day also tended to have lower waist circumference, higher high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, and lower triglyceride levels.

"Adults who maintain an active lifestyle by accumulating more steps are likely to have a lower prevalence of MetS and its individual CVD risk factors. Although other concomitant lifestyle behaviors may influence this lower prevalence, the evidence presented here on steps/day and MetS, and elsewhere on physical activity and other health and disease states, suggest that it is a fundamental component of daily living," the authors write.

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