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Original Research

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Differences in physical function and metabolic syndrome risk factors according to the level of physical activity in elderly Korean men: a pilot study

  • Sunga Kong1
  • Wi-Young So2

1Department of Clinical Research Design and Evaluation, SAIHST, Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, Republic of Korea

2Sports and Health Care Major, College of Humanities and Arts, Korea National University of Transportation, Chungju-si, Republic of Korea

DOI: 10.31083/jomh.v17i1.200 Vol.17,Issue 1,January 2021 pp.16-21

Published: 08 January 2021

*Corresponding Author(s): Wi-Young So E-mail:

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Background and objective: Managing the decrease in physical function in the elderly is a major task in aging societies globally. Here, we aimed to compare the physical function and metabolic syndrome (MetS) risk factors according to levels of physical activity (PA). Material and methods: We measured PA in 77 elderly Korean men (74.21 ± 6.26 years old) with an accelerometer and recorded body composition, physical function, and MetS-related risk factors. Participants were divided into three groups based on daily moderate-vigorous physical activity (MVPA): low (under 60 min), middle (60-120 min), and high (over 120 min). The groups were compared using a one-way analysis of variance and the Scheffe post hoc test. Odds ratios (OR) were calculated by logistic regression analysis. Results: Significant differences were found between the groups for sedentary behavior time (P < 0.001), light PA (P < 0.05), moderate PA (P < 0.001), vigorous PA (P < 0.05), and total energy expenditure (P < 0.001). The high PA group showed a significantly lower percentage of body fat and fat mass and higher muscle mass than did the low and middle PA groups (P < 0.05). The 6-min walk test was significantly better in the high PA group than in the low and middle PA groups (P < 0.05). Grip strength and the Berg balance scale were also significantly better in the high PA group (P < 0.05). Bone mineral density (BMD) and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) were significantly higher in the high PA group than in the low PA group (P < 0.05). Systolic blood pressure (SBP) was significantly higher in the middle PA group than in the low PA group (P < 0.05). Participants with more than three MetS criteria showed an OR of 0.09 (95% confidence interval 0.01-0.82) in the high PA group as compared with the low PA group (P < 0.05). Conclusions: Moderate-vigorous physical activity of more than 120 min daily showed better physical function and lower OR of MetS than did lower MVPA levels in elderly Korean men.


Elderly; Metabolic syndrome; Physical activity; Physical fitness

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Sunga Kong,Wi-Young So. Differences in physical function and metabolic syndrome risk factors according to the level of physical activity in elderly Korean men: a pilot study. Journal of Men's Health. 2021. 17(1);16-21.


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