Total Activity Counts and Bouted Minutes of Moderate-To-Vigorous Physical Activity: Relationships With Cardiometabolic Biomarkers Using 2003–2006 NHANES

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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To contrast associations of accelerometer-measured moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) accumulated in bouts and total activity counts (TAC) with cardiometabolic biomarkers in U.S. adults.


Using 2003–2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data, the sample was comprised of adults ≥ 20 years, not pregnant or lactating, with self-reported PA and at least 4 days of ≥ 10 hours accelerometer wear time (N = 5668). Bouted MVPA represented the minutes/day with ≥ 2020 counts/minute in bouts of 10 minutes or longer and TAC represented the total activity counts per day. Biomarkers included: cholesterol, triglyceride, glycohemoglobin, plasma glucose, C-peptide, insulin, C-reactive protein, homocysteine, blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, and skinfolds. Nested regression models were conducted which regressed each biomarker on bouted MVPA and TAC simultaneously, while adjusting for relevant covariates.


Results indicated TAC was more strongly associated with 11 biomarkers: HDL-C, triglyceride, plasma glucose, C-peptide, insulin, C-reactive protein, homocysteine, systolic blood pressure, waist circumference, triceps skinfold, and subscapular skinfold. Bouted MVPA, however, only displayed stronger associations with BMI.


The total volume of physical activity, represented by TAC, appears to have stronger associations with cardiometabolic biomarkers than MVPA accumulated in bouts.

Wolff-Hughes (, Fitzhugh, and Bassett are with the Dept of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sports Studies, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN. Churilla is with the Dept of Clinical and Applied Movement Sciences, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL.