The Association Between Meeting Physical Activity Guidelines and Chronic Diseases Among Canadian Adults

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Shirley N. Bryan
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Peter T. Katzmarzyk
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Physical activity is associated with a reduced risk of chronic disease. This study describes the relationship between meeting the guidelines for physical activity described in Canada’s Physical Activity Guide and heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and low levels of general health.


Leisure-time energy expenditure (LTEE) was calculated from leisure-time physical activities reported by adults who participated in the 2007 Canadian Community Health Survey. Respondents were classified as meeting the guidelines for physical activity or not, and were stratified by sex into quartiles of LTEE. Logistic regression was used to determine the odds for all conditions associated with not meeting the guidelines and by quartile of LTEE, adjusting for covariates.


The odds of type 2 diabetes, obesity, and fair/poor health were significantly higher among those not meeting the guidelines for both sexes and for high blood pressure among women. Significantly higher odds were seen between the lowest and highest quartiles of LTEE for type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure and across all quartiles for obesity and fair/poor health for both sexes.


Canadian adults meeting the physical activity guidelines have lower odds of chronic diseases and fair/poor health than those not meeting the guidelines.

Bryan is with the Dept of Kinesiology and Health Studies, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Katzmarzyk is with the Dept of Population Science, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, LA.

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