Associations between accelerometer-derived physical activity and regional adiposity in young men and women

Academic Article


  • Objective Empirical evidence supports an inverse relationship between physical activity (PA) and adiposity, but studies using detailed measures of both are scarce. The relationship between regional adiposity and accelerometer-derived PA in men and women are described. Design and Methods Cross-sectional analysis included 253 participants from a weight loss study limited to ages 20-45 years and BMI 25-39.9 kg m-2. PA data were collected with accelerometers and expressed as total accelerometer counts and average amount of time per day accumulated in different intensity levels [sedentary, light-, and moderate-to-vigorous intensity PA (MVPA)]. Accumulation of time spent above 100 counts was expressed as total active time. Computed tomography (CT) was used to measure abdominal and adipose tissue (AT). Multivariate linear regression analyses were used to assess the relationship between regional adiposity (dependent variable) and the various PA levels (independent variable), and were executed separately for men and women, adjusting for wear time, age, race, education, and BMI. Results Among males, light activity was inversely associated with total AT (β = -0.19; P = 0.02) as well as visceral AT (VAT) (β = -0.30; P = 0.03). Among females sedentary time was positively associated with VAT (β = 0.11; P = 0.04) and total active time was inversely associated with VAT (β = -0.12; P = 0.04). Conclusions Findings from this study suggest that PA intensity level may influence regional adiposity differently in men and women. Additional research is needed in larger samples to clarify the difference in these associations by sex, create recommendations for the frequency, duration and intensity of PA needed to target fat deposits, and determine if these recommendations should differ by sex. Copyright © 2013 The Obesity Society.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Smith HA; Storti KL; Arena VC; Kriska AM; Gabriel KKP; Sutton-Tyrrell K; Hames KC; Conroy MB
  • Start Page

  • 1299
  • End Page

  • 1305
  • Volume

  • 21
  • Issue

  • 6