Active commuting is associated with a lower risk of obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome in Chilean adults

Lewis Steell, Alex Garrido-Méndez, Fanny Petermann, Ximena Díaz-Martínez, María Adela Martínez, Ana María Leiva, Carlos Salas-Bravo, Cristian Alvarez, Rodrigo Ramirez-Campillo, Carlos Cristi-Montero, Fernando Rodríguez, Felipe Poblete-Valderrama, Pedro Delgado Floody, Nicolás Aguilar-Farias, Naomi D. Willis, Carlos A. Celis-Morales

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Background There is limited evidence on how active commuting is associated with health benefits in developing countries. The aim of this study therefore was to investigate the associations between active commuting and markers of adiposity and cardiometabolic risk in the Chilean adult population. Methods In total, 5157 participants from the Chilean National Health Survey 2009-10 were included in this cross-sectional study. Active commuting was measured using the Global Physical Activity Questionnaire (GPAQ v2). Body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC) were measured and used to define obesity and central obesity. Type 2 diabetes (T2D) and metabolic syndrome were determined using WHO and updated ATPIII-NCEP criteria, respectively. Results The main finding of this study is that a 30 min increase in active commuting is associated with lower odds for BMI > 25.0 kgm-2 (0.93 [95% CI: 0.88-0.98, P = 0.010]). Similarly, the odds for central obesity was 0.87 [0.82-0.92, P < 0.0001]. Similar associations were found for T2D (0.81 [0.75-0.88], P < 0.0001) and metabolic syndrome (OR: 0.86 [0.80-0.92], P < 0.0001). Conclusion Our findings show that active commuting is associated with lower adiposity and a healthier metabolic profile including lower risk for obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)508-516
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Public Health (United Kingdom)
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2018


  • Active commuting
  • Diabetes
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Obesity


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