The influence of participating in vigorous-intensity physical activity and associated compensatory declines in other types of physical activity in the general population has not been studied well; hence, it is unknown if participation in recommended levels of vigorous-intensity physical activity influence the likelihood of participating in recommended levels of moderate-intensity physical activity.
Face-to-face interviews were conducted on healthy adults (n = 1803), 18 to 59 years of age, recruited from the top and lower quintiles of socioeconomic status within Perth, Western Australia. Data on television watching, vigorous-intensity activity, moderate-intensity activity, and walking for recreation and transport were used in the analysis. Logistic regression was used to determine whether participation in recommended levels of vigorous-intensity activity predicted participation in recommended levels of other types of physical activity and television watching.
After controlling for age, gender, education, and social advantage, participating in recommended levels of vigorous-intensity physical activity (≥90 min/week) was not found to be associated with walking for transport (≥150 min/week) but was found to be significantly associated (OR = 1.38, 95%CI = 1.04–1.82) with recommended levels of recreational walking (≥150 min/week). Participation in recommended levels of vigorous-intensity physical activity was associated with a reduced likelihood of watching television more than 10 hours per/week (OR = 0.71, 95%CI = 0.57–0.89).
In those who participate in recommended levels of vigorous-intensity physical activity, there appears to be no compensatory response in other moderate-intensity activities. Given the added health benefits associated with vigorous-intensity activity, concurrent promotion of moderate and vigorous-intensity physical activity guidelines is warranted, with no evidence that participation in vigorous-intensity activity will negatively influence participation in recommended levels of moderate-intensity activity.
The authors are with the School of Population Health at The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Hwy., Crawely, Perth, Western Australia 6009, Australia.