The aim of this study was to examine the associations of physical activity and body mass index (BMI) with the metabolic syndrome (MetS) in police officers.
Self-reported physical activity, MetS, and a modified MetS (MMetS, excluding obesity) were assessed in 448 officers.
Of the officers, 27.5% had MetS, 48.7% were overweight, and 31.7% were obese. Being overweight and obese increased the MetS risk by 6.8- and 10.9-fold, respectively, independent of physical activity level. Moderate and low levels of physical activity were associated with a 1.9- and 2.5-fold increased risk for MetS, but not after adjusting for BMI. However, within BMI categories, the risk for MMetS was lower as physical activity increased.
In police, a higher BMI is more critical than reduced physical activity for MetS risk; however, physical activity can attenuate some of the risk associated with a higher BMI.