Purpose: This study examined the association between physical activity and fitness and peripheral nervous system (PNS) function in overweight and obese individuals.
Methods: Forty nondiabetic overweight adults (mean ± SD; age = 44 ± 11 yr) were recruited for the study. Peroneal motor nerve and radial, sural, and medial plantar sensory nerve conductions were studied. Maximal oxygen uptake was measured in an incremental bicycle ergometer test. Physical activity was assessed by accelerometer and self-reporting. We analyzed the data using multiple stepwise linear regression models adjusted for age, height, and skin temperature.
Results: V˙O2max predicted 17% of peroneal distal compound muscle action potential (CMAP) amplitude variation and 16% of peroneal proximal CMAP amplitude variation. Physical activity index at the age of 30 yr predicted 9% of peroneal motor nerve conduction velocity (NCV), 8% of peroneal F-wave maximum latency, 14% of medial plantar sensory latency, and 10% of medial plantar sensory NCV variation.
Conclusions: Physical activity and fitness are positively associated with PNS function and should be encouraged in overweight people.