Leisure but not household physical activities associates with metabolic syndrome in middle-aged and older individuals: a cross-sectional study

  • Tania Paschoalino
  • Ricardo B. Oliveira
  • Juliana P. Borges
  • Paulo FarinattiEmail author
Original Article


Metabolic syndrome (MS) increases risk of diabetes. Physical activity (PA) is acknowledged to prevent MS, but a few studies in developing countries investigated the relationship between spontaneous PA and MS in older populations. To investigate the association between household and leisure physical activities vs. MS in a cohort of individuals older than 50 years, dwelling in the metropolitan area of Rio de Janeiro (RJ), southeastern Brazil. In 225 individuals aged 51–91 years (62 ± 9 years), MS and related risk factors were assessed through anthropometric measurements, blood pressure, and biochemical analyses, while habitual PA was classified using the Modified Baecke Questionnaire. MS was diagnosed in 64% of the participants. Multivariate logistic regression showed that low levels of household activities discriminated patients with higher blood glucose, obesity, and diabetes mellitus, but were not associated with the risk of having MS. Conversely, leisure PA not only discriminated individual risk factors (total cholesterol, triglycerides, and abdominal circumference), but also associated with MS. Patients declaring not having performed leisure PA within the last year had 2.5 higher risk of exhibiting MS [95% CI (1.22–5.34)], after adjustments for age, body mass index, VLDL, and household PA. Leisure but not household PA is associated with the risk of having MS in an urban population of Brazilian middle-aged and elder individuals. These findings suggest that tasks usually performed at home would not be of sufficient intensity/volume to prevent MS in this population.


Logistic models Cardiovascular diseases Aging Adult health Baecke Questionnaire 


Funding information

This study was partially supported by grants from the Brazilian Council for Technological and Research Development (CNPq, 309012/2010-4) and Carlos Chagas Foundation for the Research Support in Rio de Janeiro State (FAPERJ, E-26/110.184/2013).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Research Society for Study of Diabetes in India 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate Program in Physical Activity SciencesSalgado de Oliveira University (UNIVERSO)NiteróiBrazil
  2. 2.Laboratory of Physical Activity and Health Promotion (LABSAU), Institute of Physical Education and SportsUniversity of Rio de Janeiro State (UERJ)Rio de JaneiroBrazil
  3. 3.Graduate Program in Exercise and Sports SciencesUniversity of Rio de Janeiro StateRio de JaneiroBrazil

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