Purposes: To compare daily ambulatory measures in children, adolescents, and young adults with and without metabolic syndrome and to assess which metabolic syndrome components, demographic measures, and body composition measures are associated with daily ambulatory measures.
Methods: Two-hundred fifty subjects between the ages of 10 and 30 yr were assessed on metabolic syndrome components, demographic and clinical measures, body fat percentage, and daily ambulatory strides, durations, and cadences during seven consecutive days. Of the 250 subjects, 45 had metabolic syndrome, as defined by the International Diabetes Federation.
Results: Subjects with metabolic syndrome ambulated at a slower daily average cadence than those without metabolic syndrome (13.6 ± 2.2 vs 14.9 ± 3.2 strides per minute; P = 0.012), and they had slower cadences for continuous durations of 60 min (P = 0.006), 30 min (P = 0.005), 20 min (P = 0.003), 5 min (P = 0.002), and 1 min (P = 0.001). However, the total amount of time spent ambulating each day was not different (P = 0.077). After adjustment for metabolic syndrome status, average cadence is linearly associated with body fat percentage (P < 0.001) and fat mass (P < 0.01). Group difference in average cadence was no longer significant after adjusting for body fat percentage (P = 0.683) and fat mass (P = 0.973).
Conclusions: Children, adolescents, and young adults with metabolic syndrome ambulate more slowly and take fewer strides throughout the day than those without metabolic syndrome, although the total amount of time spent ambulating is not different. Furthermore, the detrimental influence of metabolic syndrome on ambulatory cadence is primarily a function of body fatness.