We examined whether physical activity modifies the relationship between stress and the metabolic risk score in 8- to 18-year-old males (n = 37).
Physical activity (PA) and television (TV)/videogame (VG) use were assessed via accelerometer and questionnaire, respectively. Stress was determined from self-report measures. A metabolic risk score (MRS) was created by summing age-standardized residuals for waist circumference, mean arterial pressure, glycosylated hemoglobin, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol.
Correlations between PA and MRS were low (r < –.13), and TV and VG were moderately associated with MRS (r = .39 and .43, respectively). Correlations between stress-related variables and MRS ranged from r = .19 to .64. After partitioning by PA, significant correlations were observed in the low PA group between school- and sports-related self-esteem and anxiety with the MRS.
The results provide suggestive evidence that PA might modify the relationship between stress and MRS in male adolescents.
Holmes and Eisenmann are now with the Center for Physical Activity and Health, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48823. Ekkekakis is with the Dept of Health and Human Performance, and Gentile the Dept of Psychology, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50010.