Higher Physical Activity Is Related to Lower Neck Adiposity in Young Men, but to Higher Neck Adiposity in Young Women: An Exploratory Study

in International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism
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  • 1 University of Chile
  • 2 University of Granada
  • 3 Federal University of Paraiba
  • 4 University of Porto
  • 5 Instituto de Investigación Biosanitaria (Ibs. Granada)
  • 6 “Virgen de las Nieves” University Hospital
  • 7 University Medical Center, Leiden
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The role of lifestyle behaviors on neck adipose tissue (NAT), a fat depot that appears to be involved in the pathogenesis of different cardiometabolic diseases and in inflammatory status, is unknown. In this cross-sectional and exploratory study, the authors examined the relationship between sedentary time and physical activity (PA) with neck adiposity in young adults. A total of 134 subjects (69% women, 23 ± 2 years) were enrolled. The time spent in sedentary behavior and PA of different intensity were objectively measured for 7 consecutive days (24 hr/day), using a wrist (nondominant)-worn accelerometer. The NAT volume was assessed using computed tomography, and the compartmental (subcutaneous, intermuscular, and perivertebral) and total NAT volumes were determined at the level of vertebra C5. Anthropometric indicators and body composition (by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) were determined. The time spent in light physical activity and moderate physical activity (MPA) and the overall PA were inversely associated with the intermuscular NAT volume in men, as were the MPA and overall PA with total NAT volume (all ps ≤ .04). Sedentary time was directly related to the total NAT volume (p = .04). An opposite trend was observed in women, finding a direct relationship of MPA with the subcutaneous NAT; of light physical activity, MPA, and overall PA with the perivertebral NAT; and of light physical activity with total NAT volumes (all ps ≤ .05). The observed associations were weak, and after adjusting for multiplicity, the results became nonsignificant (p > .05). These findings suggest that the specific characteristics of PA (time and intensity) might have sex-dependent implications in the accumulation of NAT.

Arias-Tellez and Acosta contributed equally to this work.

Arias-Tellez is with the Department of Nutrition, Faculty of Medicine, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile. Arias-Tellez, Acosta, Migueles, Pascual-Gamarra, Merchan-Ramirez, Martinez-Tellez, and Ruiz are with the PROFITH “PRO-moting FITness and Health Through Physical Activity” Research Group, Department of Physical and Sports Education, Sport and Health University Research Institute (iMUDS), Faculty of Sports Science, University of Granada, Granada, Spain. de Lucena Martins is with Centre of Physical Activity, Health and Leisure, Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal; and Department of Physical Education, Federal University of Paraiba, João Pessoa, Brazil. Llamas-Elvira is with the Instituto de Investigación Biosanitaria (Ibs. Granada), Granada, Spain; and the Nuclear Medicine Service, “Virgen de las Nieves” University Hospital, Granada, Spain. Martinez-Tellez is also with the Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, and Einthoven Laboratory for Experimental Vascular Medicine, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Acosta (acostaf@ugr.es) is corresponding author.

Supplementary Materials

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