Joint association of physical activity and body weight with subsequent physical and mental functioning: a follow-up study

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Physical inactivity and overweight are major threats to public health. However, it is not well understood to what extent physical activity might counteract the harmful effects of overweight on functioning. Thus, we examined the joint associations of leisure-time physical activity and body mass index (BMI) with subsequent physical and mental functioning over a follow-up of five to seven years.

METHODS: The data were derived from the Helsinki Health Study, which is a cohort study among employees of the City of Helsinki, Finland. The baseline postal survey data were collected among 40-60-year-old employees in 2000-02 (n = 8960, response rate 67%), and the follow-up data in 2007 among all baseline survey respondents (n = 7332, response rate 83%). We divided the participants into six groups according to their amount of physical activity (inactive, moderately active and highly active) and their relative weight (normal weight and overweight). Highly active normal-weight participants were used as a reference group in all the analyses. Poor functioning was defined as the lowest quartile of the Short Form 36 (SF-36) health survey's physical and mental component summaries, with the follow-up cut-off point also applied at baseline. We used logistic regression analysis adjusted for age, gender, baseline functioning, smoking, alcohol use, marital status, socioeconomic position and working conditions.

RESULTS: At baseline 48% of the participants were overweight and 11% were inactive. After adjustments inactivity was associated with poor physical functioning at follow-up both among the normal-weight (OR 1.51, 95% CI 1.09-2.10) and overweight (OR 2.02, 95% CI 1.56-2.63) groups. Being overweight regardless of activity level was associated with poor physical functioning. Poor physical functioning was practically equally common among the highly active overweight group and the inactive normal-weight group. After adjustments, for mental functioning, only inactivity among the overweight was associated with poor mental functioning (OR 1.39, 95% CI 1.08-1.80).

CONCLUSIONS: Physical activity is likely to be beneficial for physical and mental functioning among both those with overweight and normal weight. However, maintaining normal weight is also important for good physical functioning. Therefore, efforts should be made to recommend people to engage in physical activity regardless of weight.

Original languageEnglish
Article number197
JournalBMC Public Health
Volume13
Number of pages8
ISSN1471-2458
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
  • physical activity
  • body mass index
  • overweight
  • health functioning
  • follow-up

Cite this

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title = "Joint association of physical activity and body weight with subsequent physical and mental functioning: a follow-up study",
abstract = "BACKGROUND: Physical inactivity and overweight are major threats to public health. However, it is not well understood to what extent physical activity might counteract the harmful effects of overweight on functioning. Thus, we examined the joint associations of leisure-time physical activity and body mass index (BMI) with subsequent physical and mental functioning over a follow-up of five to seven years. METHODS: The data were derived from the Helsinki Health Study, which is a cohort study among employees of the City of Helsinki, Finland. The baseline postal survey data were collected among 40-60-year-old employees in 2000-02 (n = 8960, response rate 67{\%}), and the follow-up data in 2007 among all baseline survey respondents (n = 7332, response rate 83{\%}). We divided the participants into six groups according to their amount of physical activity (inactive, moderately active and highly active) and their relative weight (normal weight and overweight). Highly active normal-weight participants were used as a reference group in all the analyses. Poor functioning was defined as the lowest quartile of the Short Form 36 (SF-36) health survey's physical and mental component summaries, with the follow-up cut-off point also applied at baseline. We used logistic regression analysis adjusted for age, gender, baseline functioning, smoking, alcohol use, marital status, socioeconomic position and working conditions. RESULTS: At baseline 48{\%} of the participants were overweight and 11{\%} were inactive. After adjustments inactivity was associated with poor physical functioning at follow-up both among the normal-weight (OR 1.51, 95{\%} CI 1.09-2.10) and overweight (OR 2.02, 95{\%} CI 1.56-2.63) groups. Being overweight regardless of activity level was associated with poor physical functioning. Poor physical functioning was practically equally common among the highly active overweight group and the inactive normal-weight group. After adjustments, for mental functioning, only inactivity among the overweight was associated with poor mental functioning (OR 1.39, 95{\%} CI 1.08-1.80). CONCLUSIONS: Physical activity is likely to be beneficial for physical and mental functioning among both those with overweight and normal weight. However, maintaining normal weight is also important for good physical functioning. Therefore, efforts should be made to recommend people to engage in physical activity regardless of weight.",
keywords = "3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health, physical activity, body mass index, overweight, health functioning, follow-up",
author = "Vivian Lindhom and Jouni Lahti and Ossi Rahkonen and Eero Lahelma and Tea Lallukka",
year = "2013",
doi = "10.1186/1471-2458-13-197",
language = "English",
volume = "13",
journal = "BMC Public Health",
issn = "1471-2458",
publisher = "BMC",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Joint association of physical activity and body weight with subsequent physical and mental functioning: a follow-up study

AU - Lindhom, Vivian

AU - Lahti, Jouni

AU - Rahkonen, Ossi

AU - Lahelma, Eero

AU - Lallukka, Tea

PY - 2013

Y1 - 2013

N2 - BACKGROUND: Physical inactivity and overweight are major threats to public health. However, it is not well understood to what extent physical activity might counteract the harmful effects of overweight on functioning. Thus, we examined the joint associations of leisure-time physical activity and body mass index (BMI) with subsequent physical and mental functioning over a follow-up of five to seven years. METHODS: The data were derived from the Helsinki Health Study, which is a cohort study among employees of the City of Helsinki, Finland. The baseline postal survey data were collected among 40-60-year-old employees in 2000-02 (n = 8960, response rate 67%), and the follow-up data in 2007 among all baseline survey respondents (n = 7332, response rate 83%). We divided the participants into six groups according to their amount of physical activity (inactive, moderately active and highly active) and their relative weight (normal weight and overweight). Highly active normal-weight participants were used as a reference group in all the analyses. Poor functioning was defined as the lowest quartile of the Short Form 36 (SF-36) health survey's physical and mental component summaries, with the follow-up cut-off point also applied at baseline. We used logistic regression analysis adjusted for age, gender, baseline functioning, smoking, alcohol use, marital status, socioeconomic position and working conditions. RESULTS: At baseline 48% of the participants were overweight and 11% were inactive. After adjustments inactivity was associated with poor physical functioning at follow-up both among the normal-weight (OR 1.51, 95% CI 1.09-2.10) and overweight (OR 2.02, 95% CI 1.56-2.63) groups. Being overweight regardless of activity level was associated with poor physical functioning. Poor physical functioning was practically equally common among the highly active overweight group and the inactive normal-weight group. After adjustments, for mental functioning, only inactivity among the overweight was associated with poor mental functioning (OR 1.39, 95% CI 1.08-1.80). CONCLUSIONS: Physical activity is likely to be beneficial for physical and mental functioning among both those with overweight and normal weight. However, maintaining normal weight is also important for good physical functioning. Therefore, efforts should be made to recommend people to engage in physical activity regardless of weight.

AB - BACKGROUND: Physical inactivity and overweight are major threats to public health. However, it is not well understood to what extent physical activity might counteract the harmful effects of overweight on functioning. Thus, we examined the joint associations of leisure-time physical activity and body mass index (BMI) with subsequent physical and mental functioning over a follow-up of five to seven years. METHODS: The data were derived from the Helsinki Health Study, which is a cohort study among employees of the City of Helsinki, Finland. The baseline postal survey data were collected among 40-60-year-old employees in 2000-02 (n = 8960, response rate 67%), and the follow-up data in 2007 among all baseline survey respondents (n = 7332, response rate 83%). We divided the participants into six groups according to their amount of physical activity (inactive, moderately active and highly active) and their relative weight (normal weight and overweight). Highly active normal-weight participants were used as a reference group in all the analyses. Poor functioning was defined as the lowest quartile of the Short Form 36 (SF-36) health survey's physical and mental component summaries, with the follow-up cut-off point also applied at baseline. We used logistic regression analysis adjusted for age, gender, baseline functioning, smoking, alcohol use, marital status, socioeconomic position and working conditions. RESULTS: At baseline 48% of the participants were overweight and 11% were inactive. After adjustments inactivity was associated with poor physical functioning at follow-up both among the normal-weight (OR 1.51, 95% CI 1.09-2.10) and overweight (OR 2.02, 95% CI 1.56-2.63) groups. Being overweight regardless of activity level was associated with poor physical functioning. Poor physical functioning was practically equally common among the highly active overweight group and the inactive normal-weight group. After adjustments, for mental functioning, only inactivity among the overweight was associated with poor mental functioning (OR 1.39, 95% CI 1.08-1.80). CONCLUSIONS: Physical activity is likely to be beneficial for physical and mental functioning among both those with overweight and normal weight. However, maintaining normal weight is also important for good physical functioning. Therefore, efforts should be made to recommend people to engage in physical activity regardless of weight.

KW - 3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health

KW - physical activity

KW - body mass index

KW - overweight

KW - health functioning

KW - follow-up

U2 - 10.1186/1471-2458-13-197

DO - 10.1186/1471-2458-13-197

M3 - Article

VL - 13

JO - BMC Public Health

JF - BMC Public Health

SN - 1471-2458

M1 - 197

ER -