Light-Intensity Physical Activity Is Associated With Insulin Resistance in Elderly Japanese Women Independent of Moderate- to Vigorous-Intensity Physical Activity

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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It is unclear whether light physical activity is beneficially associated with insulin resistance, similar to moderate and/or vigorous physical activity. This cross-sectional study was performed to determine the relationship between the amount of light physical activity, as determined with a triaxial accelerometer, and insulin resistance.


A total of 807 healthy men and women participated in this study. Physical activity was measured using a triaxial accelerometer worn for 28 days and summarized as light intensity (1.1–2.9 METs) or moderate to vigorous intensity (≥ 3.0 METs). Insulin resistance was evaluated by HOMA_R (FPG [mg/dL] × IRI [μU/mL]/405).


The daily time spent in light physical activity was inversely associated with HOMA_R (r = –0.173, P < 0.05). After adjustment for confounders, the association between light physical activity and HOMA_R remained statistically significant (β = –0.119, P < .05). Light physical activity remained significantly associated with HOMA_R following further adjustment for moderate to vigorous intensity activity (β = –0.125, P < .05). Similar results were observed when light physical activity was modeled as quartiles, especially in elderly women.


These cross-sectional data suggest that light-intensity physical activity is beneficially associated with insulin resistance in elderly Japanese women.

Gando and Higuchi are with the Faculty of Sport Sciences, Waseda University, Tokorozawa, Saitama, Japan. Murakami, Kawakami, Tanaka, and Miyachi are with the Dept of Health Promotion and Exercise, National Institutes of Health and Nutrition, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan. Sanada and Tabata are with the Faculty of Sport and Health Science, Ritsumeikan University, Kusatsu, Shiga, Japan.