European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 171, Issue 9, pp 1317–1323 | Cite as

Associations between cardiorespiratory fitness, physical activity and clustered cardiometabolic risk in children and adolescents: the HAPPY study

  • Daniel P. BaileyEmail author
  • Lynne M. Boddy
  • Louise A. Savory
  • Sarah J. Denton
  • Catherine J. Kerr
Original Article


Clustering of cardiometabolic risk factors can occur during childhood and predisposes individuals to cardiometabolic disease. This study calculated clustered cardiometabolic risk in 100 children and adolescents aged 10–14 years (59 girls) and explored differences according to cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) levels and time spent at different physical activity (PA) intensities. CRF was determined using a maximal cycle ergometer test, and PA was assessed using accelerometry. A cardiometabolic risk score was computed as the sum of the standardised scores for waist circumference, blood pressure, total cholesterol/high-density lipoprotein ratio, triglycerides and glucose. Differences in clustered cardiometabolic risk between fit and unfit participants, according to previously proposed health-related threshold values, and between tertiles for PA subcomponents were assessed using ANCOVA. Clustered risk was significantly lower (p < 0.001) in the fit group (mean 1.21 ± 3.42) compared to the unfit group (mean −0.74 ± 2.22), while no differences existed between tertiles for any subcomponent of PA. Conclusion These findings suggest that CRF may have an important cardioprotective role in children and adolescents and highlights the importance of promoting CRF in youth.


Cardiometabolic risk Metabolic syndrome Cardiorespiratory fitness Physical activity Children Adolescents 



The authors would like to thank the participants who gave their time to the study. We would also like to thank all of the schools who helped facilitate the research. This study was funded by the Bedford Charity.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel P. Bailey
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lynne M. Boddy
    • 2
  • Louise A. Savory
    • 1
  • Sarah J. Denton
    • 1
  • Catherine J. Kerr
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Sport and Physical Activity ResearchUniversity of BedfordshireBedfordUK
  2. 2.The Research into Exercise, Activity and Children’s Health Group (REACH), The Research Institute for Sport and Exercise SciencesLiverpool John Moores UniversityLiverpoolUK

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