Longitudinal relationship between physical activity and cardiometabolic factors in overweight and obese adults

Jina Choo, Okan U. Elci, Kyeongra Yang, Melanie W. Turk, Mindi A. Styn, Susan M. Sereika, Edvin Music, Lora E. Burke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Few studies have reported longitudinal relationships between physical activity (PA) and cardiometabolic risk factors over time using repeated assessments in overweight or obese adults. We conducted a longitudinal study in 127 participants (81% with body mass index > 30 kg/m2) who completed a 12-month behavioral intervention for weight loss between 2003 and 2005 in Pittsburgh, PA, USA. Using absolute change scores from baseline to each time point (i.e., 6 and 12 months) for all studied variables (Δ = time point - baseline), we performed mixed effects modeling to examine relationships between PA and cardiometabolic risk factors, after adjusting for body weight, energy intake and other covariates (i.e., age, gender, and ethnicity). PA was assessed as energy expenditure (kcal/week) using the Paffenbarger activity questionnaire. Over the 12-month period, energy expenditure increased (Δ1,370 kcal/week at 6 months vs. Δ886 kcal/week at 12 months); body weight decreased (Δ8.9 kg at 6 months vs. Δ8.4 kg at 12 months). The average increase in energy expenditure over 12 months was significantly and independently related to reductions in total cholesterol (F = 6.25, p = 0.013), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) (F = 5.08, p = 0.025) and fasting blood glucose (F = 5.10, p = 0.025), but not to other risk factors (i.e., fasting insulin, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, and waist circumference). In conclusion, among overweight and obese adults undergoing a weight loss intervention, increased energy expenditure over 12 months may improve total cholesterol and LDL-C, important coronary risk factors, and fasting blood glucose, a metabolic risk factor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-336
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jan

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This work was supported by National Institutes of Health grants NIH, NIDDK, #RO1-DK58631; LE Burke’s effort was partially covered by grant 1K24 NR010742. The conduct of the study was also supported by the Data Management Core of the Center for Research in Chronic Disorders NIH-NINR #P30-NR03924, the Obesity and Nutrition Research Center NIH-NIDDK #DK-046204, and the General Clinical Research Center, NIH-NCRR-GCRC #5MO1-RR00056 at the University of Pittsburgh. We thank the study participants who graciously shared their time and information with us.


  • Lipids
  • Longitudinal studies
  • Obesity
  • Physical activity
  • Weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physiology (medical)


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