Background: Moderate-intensity physical activity improves insulin sensitivity and shows beneficial effects for prevention of diabetes. However, it hasn’t been investigated what type of physical activity is more effective in reducing insulin resistance. In the current study, we examined the association between the type of physical activity and insulin resistance in Japanese general population.

Methods: We conducted cross-sectional analysis using a community-based cohort, the Nagahama Prospective Cohort for Comprehensive Human Bioscience. In this study, “exercise habits” means the habit of exercise for over 30 min a time, 2 or more times weekly, and “non-exercise activity” means physical activity in daily life equivalent to one-hour or more walking. Multiple linear regression analysis was performed with log HOMA-IR as a dependent variable and exercise habits, non-exercise activity, tobacco smoking, medical history of diabetes, family medical history of diabetes, age, sex and BMI as simultaneous independent variables.

Results: A total of 7047 subjects were included in the analysis. Multiple regression analysis showed that log HOMA-IR was determined by exercise habits (β = -0.027, p = 0.011), non-exercise activity (β = -0.025, p = 0.017) and BMI (β = 0.571, p < 0.001). We divided subjects into two groups at the BMI of 23 (kg/m2), which is the cut point to consider diabetes screening for Asian adults (Diabetes Care, 2015). In the lower BMI group, multiple regression analysis showed that exercise habits (β = -0.047, p = 0.002) and BMI (β = 0.356, p < 0.001) were significant determinants of log HOMA-IR. In the higher BMI group, on the other hand, non-exercise activity (β = -0.042, p = 0.033) and BMI (β = 0.369, p < 0.001) were significant determinants of log HOMA-IR.

Conclusion: In Japanese people with BMI≧23 (kg/m2), “non-exercise activity” was more strongly associated with reduced insulin resistance, while in those with BMI<23 (kg/m2), “exercise habits” was the stronger predictor of reduced insulin resistance.


F. Mano: None. K. Ikeda: Research Support; Self; Terumo Medical Corporation. D. Tanaka: Research Support; Self; Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. N. Inagaki: Research Support; Self; Astellas Pharma Inc., Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Daiichi Sankyo Company, Limited, Japan Tobacco Inc., Kyowa Hakko Kirin Co., Ltd., Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., Sanofi, Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co., Ltd., Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited.

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