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


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


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.


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.


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.