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Jani P. Vaara, Heikki Kyröläinen, Mikael Fogelholm, Matti Santtila, Arja Häkkinen, Keijo Häkkinen, and Tommi Vasankari

Background:

The aim was to study the relationships between different domains of physical activity and cardiovascular risk factors and physical fitness.

Methods:

781 young men participated. Self-reported leisure-time (LTPA), commuting (CPA) and occupational (OPA) activity were determined. Blood pressure, s-HDL-cholesterol, s-triglycerides and s-LDL-cholesterol, and glucose were measured. The continuous cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factor score was calculated from the z-score mean of each cardiovascular risk factor. The cutpoint was defined as 1 standard deviation above the mean. Cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness were measured.

Results:

The likelihood of CVD risk factor score was higher in moderate [OR 1.99 (95% CI 1.21–3.28)] and low [1.87 (1.16–3.02)] CPA groups compared with the high group, whereas neither low nor moderate LTPA or OPA groups showed similar associations after adjustments. Low OPA combined either with low LTPA [2.01 (1.08–3.74)] or low CPA [1.90 (1.05–3.44)] had a higher likelihood for CVD risk factor compared with combined moderate-high categories after adjustments. LTPA was positively associated with all physical fitness parameters, CPA with cardiorespiratory fitness and muscular endurance, and OPA with grip strength.

Conclusion:

The results emphasize the beneficial role of CPA regarding CVD risk factor score and stress the avoidance of low physical activity in its different domains.