Commuting, leisure-time physical activity, and cardiovascular risk factors in China

Gang Hu, Heikki Pekkarinen, Osmo Hänninen, Zhijie Yu, Zeyu Guo, Huiguang Tian
Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 2002, 34 (2): 234-8

PURPOSE: The relationship between both commuting and leisure-time physical activity and selected cardiovascular risk factors was analyzed.

METHODS: A cross-sectional survey was carried out in 1996 in urban Tianjin, China. A total of 2002 male and 1974 female subjects aged 15-69 yr completed the survey. Commuting, leisure-time physical activity, body mass index, blood pressure, and cigarette smoking were determined.

RESULTS: Doing more than 60 min of commuting physical activity or combined commuting and leisure-time physical activity was related to the highest mean blood pressure and the highest prevalence of hypertension among both genders compared with going to and from work by bus; 31-60 min commuting only or commuting plus leisure-time physical activity was associated with the lowest mean blood pressure in women and the lowest prevalence of hypertension in both genders. Daily time on commuting or leisure-time physical activity was inversely related to mean body mass index and prevalence of overweight among men and prevalence of smoking among both genders.

CONCLUSION: The present study suggests that commuting and leisure-time physical activity were favorably associated with cardiovascular risk factors in this Chinese population, except that more than 60 min of physical activity was associated with high blood pressure.

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