2008 Volume 27 Issue 4 Pages 179-184
Recently, many cross-sectional studies observed that body mass index (BMI) and percentage of body fat (%BF) were inversely associated with pedometer-determined physical activities, but studies on Asian populations, including the Japanese, are sparse. Height, weight, body fat percentage (%BF, bioelectrical impedance analyzer), and waist circumference were measured on 117 women (62.8±4.5 years, 22.2±2.2 kg/m2) and 62 men (64.0±4.6 years, 23.6±2.5 kg/m2). Pearson correlations and partial correlation coefficients after controlling for age were calculated between steps/day and variables. Furthermore, participants were classified into four groups as follows: <5,000, 5,000–7,499, 7,500–9,999, and ≥10,000 steps/day, and analyzed using ANOVA across activity groups. In women, a significant correlation was found between steps/day and BMI (r=−0.217, p=0.018), %BF (r=−0.292, p=0.0014), and the relationship was still significant after controlling for age. The relationship between steps/day and waist circumference was not significant. In men, a significant relationship was not observed between steps/day and obesity indices. The correlations between steps/day and both BMI and %BF were significant in Japanese women, but weak compared with Caucasian and African–American women as reported previously. A possible cause is racial difference in degree of obesity and body shape. The effects of physical activity on body shape and composition may differ according to race.