The purpose of this study was to determine if light physical activity (LPA) minimizes the impairment of cardiometabolic risk factors following a typical meal in adolescents. Eighteen adolescents (50% male, 14.8 ± 2.3 yrs) consumed a meal (32% fat, 14% protein, 53% carbohydrate), then completed a walking (1.5mph for 45 min of each hour) or sitting treatment for 3 hr in randomized order on separate days. Following the meal, HDL cholesterol declined 4.8% but remained higher during walking at 3 hr (42.1mg/dl ± 9.3) than sitting (8.4% decline; 40.5mg/dL ± 9.9; treatment × time interaction, p < .03). The 3-hr insulin was lower after walking (24.8μIU/ml ± 33.4) than sitting (37.8μIU/ml ± 34.7; treatment × time interaction, p < .0001). Triglycerides increased by ~40% above baseline at 1 and 2 hr, with higher values for walking (treatment × time interaction, p < .02). However by 3 hr, triglycerides were not different from baseline. Area under the curve (AUC) analyses were not significantly different between treatments for any outcomes. Although minor, LPA appears to mitigate the undesirable postprandial changes in HDL cholesterol and insulin but not triglycerides, following a typical meal in adolescents.
Sisson, Gibson, Short, Gardner, Whited, Robledo, and Thompson are with the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.