Intensity, duration, and frequency of physical activity and coronary risk factors

G B Mensink, D W Heerstrass, S E Neppelenbroek, A.J. Schuit, B M Bellach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Relationships between coronary risk factors and intensity, duration, and frequency of leisure activity were studied in 5943 men and 6039 women, ages 25-69. Age, smoking, socioeconomics, season, body mass index (BMI), urbanization, occupational activity, and liquid, alcohol, and saturated/total fat intake were adjusted using multivariate regressions. Among men each 100 spent on vigorous activities (7.5-9.0 MET) was associated with: significant (P < 0.01) average differences of -0.36 mmol.L-1 total cholesterol, +0.17 mmol.L-1 HDL cholesterol (P < 0.001), +0.05 HDL/total cholesterol (P < 0.001), -0.33 mmol.L-1 triglycerides, -3 mm Hg diastolic blood pressure, -10 beats.min-1 heart rate (P < 0.001), +30 L.min-1 peak flow, and -1.1 kg.m-2 BMI. Among women it was associated with: -7 mm Hg systolic blood pressure, -6 beats.min-1 heart rate (P < 0.001), +50 L.min-1 peak flow (P < 0.001), and -1.4 kg.m-2 BMI (P < 0.05). Moderate activity (either 3.0-4.5 MET or 5.0-7.0 MET) was significantly (P < 0.05) associated with HDL cholesterol, BMI, and, for men, heart rate; for women, it was associated with HDL/total cholesterol, triglycerides, diastolic blood pressure, and peak flow. With duration and intensity constant, increasing frequency by one time per wk was significantly (P < 0.05) associated with -0.014 mmol.L-1 total cholesterol, +0.001 HDL/total cholesterol, -0.36 beats.min-1 heart rate, -0.093 kg.m-2 BMI among men, and +0.009 mmol.L-1 HDL cholesterol, +0.001 HDL/total cholesterol, -0.014 mmol.L-1 triglycerides, -0.31 beats.min-1 heart rate, and -0.098 kg.m-2 BMI among women. Serum lipids and BMI showed stronger associations with frequency than with intensity or duration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1192-1198
JournalMedicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Pressure
  • Body Mass Index
  • Coronary Disease
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Female
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Lipids
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Physical Fitness
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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