The relationship between physical activity and metabolic syndrome in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Soo Kyung Park, Janet L. Larson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The prevalence of metabolic syndrome has been reported to be 20% to 50% in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Because such people are sedentary and physically inactive, they are at risk of metabolic syndrome. The extent of this problem, however, is not fully understood. Objectives: This study examined the relationship of sedentary time and physical activity to metabolic syndrome and the components of metabolic syndrome in a population-based sample of people with COPD. Methods: This was a secondary analysis of existing cross-sectional data. Subjects with COPD (n = 223) were drawn from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data set (2003Y2006). Physical activity was measured by accelerometry. Waist circumference, triglyceride level, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level, blood pressure, and fasting glucose level were used to describe metabolic syndrome. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used for analysis. Results: Fifty-five percent of the sample had metabolic syndrome. No significant differences in sedentary time and level of physical activity were found in people with COPD and metabolic syndrome and people with COPD only. However, those with a mean activity count of greater than 240 counts per minute had a lower prevalence of metabolic syndrome. Waist circumference and glucose level were significantly associated with the time spent in sedentary, light, and moderate to vigorous physical activity. Conclusion: Metabolic syndrome is highly prevalent in people with COPD, and greater physical activity and less sedentary time are associated with lower rates of metabolic syndrome. This suggests that interventions to decrease the risk of metabolic syndrome in people with COPD should include both reducing sedentary time and increasing the time and intensity of physical activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)499-507
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Nursing
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Dec 10


  • ActiGraph accelerometry
  • COPD
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Physical activity
  • Sedentary time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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