Steps expressed relative to body fat mass predicts body composition and cardiometabolic risk in adults eating ad libitum
BACKGROUND: Excess body fatness is a consequence of a chronic energy surplus (energy intake is greater than energy expenditure). Given the serious health consequences of excess body fatness, factors that influence energy balance and body composition are increasingly important to understand. METHODS: A total of 34 adults between the ages of 19-40 years made a laboratory visit in which height, weight, body composition, and cardiometabolic risk (CMR) factors were quantified. Participants wore accelerometers for 21-28 days, then returned to the laboratory for a second body composition assessment. Changes in weight and body composition were used to quantify energy balance, and data derived from accelerometers provided markers of physical activity (PA) and sedentariness. RESULTS: Of the markers of PA that we measured, daily step counts expressed relative to fat mass was most strongly and consistently associated with body fatness and CMR status. CONCLUSIONS: Step counts expressed relative to fat mass were strongly associated with body composition and CMR in adults eating ad libitum. Longitudinal interventional studies are necessary to determine the efficacy of step count prescriptions expressed relative to existing and target body fatness and CMR levels for improving weight management and metabolic outcomes.