Published online by Cambridge University Press: 02 January 2007
To investigate the relationship between different types and levels of physical activity and cardiovascular disease risk factors, including oxidative stress, blood lipids and insulin resistance, in a healthy female population in China.
Healthy women (n = 761) aged 35 to 65 years participated in this study. The habitual physical activity was evaluated by self-administered questionnaire (MOSPA). The dietary intakes of nutrients were calculated from 3-day recall records. Anthropometric data of each subject were measured, fasting blood samples were taken, and erythrocytes and serum were prepared for the measurement of erythrocyte superoxide dismutase activity, serum malondialdehyde, total antioxidant capacity, insulin, glucose and lipids (total cholesterol, triglycerides, apolipoprotein AI (apo A) and apolipoprotein B (apo B)) concentrations.
Low level of physical activity was related to a lower concentration of serum apo B, and higher energy expenditure from household physical activity had a reverse relationship with serum apo B and triglyceride levels. In the group with moderate occupational energy expenditure, the concentration of serum triglycerides was lower, but that of high-density lipoprotein was higher. Moderate energy expenditure (less than 1700 kcal day−1) from leisure-time physical activity was positively related to total antioxidant capacity and insulin sensitivity. However, heavy occupational physical activity may be not beneficial for the cardiovascular system.
This study indicates that leisure-time, moderate occupational and household physical activity levels decreased risk factors for cardiovascular disease.