Associations of occupational, transportation, household and leisure-time physical activity patterns with metabolic risk factors among middle-aged adults in a middle-income country.

Prev Med. 2012 Dec 28. pii: S0091-7435(12)00628-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2012.12.011. [Epub ahead of print]


Chu AH, Moy FM.


Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Electronic address:


OBJECTIVE: This study investigates physical activity in different domains and its association with metabolic risk factors among middle-aged adults.

METHODS: The study was performed in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from August 2010-August 2011. Body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, systolic/diastolic blood pressure, and fasting blood glucose/lipid profile were measured in 686 Malay participants (mean age 45.9±6.5years). Self-reported physical activity was obtained with the validated IPAQ (Malay version) and categorized into low-, moderate- and high-activity levels across occupational, transportation, household and leisure-time domains.

RESULTS: Participants spent most of their time on household (567.5, 95% CI: 510-630 MET-minutes/week) and occupational activities (297, 95% CI: 245-330 MET-minutes/week). After adjusted for gender and smoking, participants with low-activity levels in occupational, transport and household domains were associated with significantly higher odds for metabolic syndrome (2.02, 95% CI: 1.33-3.05; 1.49, 95% CI: 1.01-2.21; 1.96, 95% CI: 1.33-2.91). Significantly higher odds for obesity and abdominal obesity were consistently reported among those with low-activity levels across all four domains.

CONCLUSION: High-activity levels in occupational, transportation and household domains were each negatively associated with metabolic syndrome among our cohort. Increase participation of physical activity across all four domains (including leisure-time activity) should be encouraged.


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The Occupational Medicine Clinic is a referral clinic for occupational diseases and is open on every Friday in University Malaya Medical Centre.