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Physical Activity, Stress, and Metabolic Risk Score in 8- to 18-Year-Old Boys

Megan E. Holmes, Joey C. Eisenmann, Panteleimon Ekkekakis, and Douglas Gentile

Background:

We examined whether physical activity modifies the relationship between stress and the metabolic risk score in 8- to 18-year-old males (n = 37).

Methods:

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.

Results:

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.

Conclusions:

The results provide suggestive evidence that PA might modify the relationship between stress and MRS in male adolescents.