CORVALLIS, Ore. A national study shows that women are less likely than men to get at least 30 minutes of exercise per day, resulting in greater odds of developing metabolic syndrome a risky and increasingly prevalent condition related to obesity.
Metabolic syndrome is a name for a group of risk factors including high cholesterol, high blood pressure and extra weight around the middle part of the body which occur together and increase the risk for coronary disease, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes. The researchers initially were interested in the correlation between physical activity, depression and metabolic syndrome, and ended up finding a gender difference.
The study, now online in the journal Preventive Medicine, was conducted at Oregon State University by Paul Loprinzi and Bradley Cardinal, professor of social psychology of physical activity at OSU. Loprinzi is now an assistant professor of exercise science at Bellarmine University. He conducted the research when he was a student in Cardinal's lab at OSU.
"The results indicate that regular physical activity participation was associated with positive health outcomes for both men and women; however, there was a greater strength of association for women," Loprinzi said.
Looking at more than 1,000 men and women from a nationally represented sample, the researchers found that women were getting only about 18 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise daily, compared to men who, on average, were getting 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise daily.
"Those who get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day are less likely to be depressed, less likely to have high cholesterol and less likely to have metabolic syndrome," Loprinzi said.
Loprinzi and Cardinal's study is unique in part because it is the first to use an "objective" measure of physical activity in this case participants were outfitted with accelerometers that measured daily activity. In their stu
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Oregon State University