University of Oulu

Länsitie, M, Niemelä, M, Kangas, M, et al. Physical activity profiles and glucose metabolism — A population-based cross-sectional study in older adults. Transl Sports Med. 2021; 4: 439– 446.

Physical activity profiles and glucose metabolism : a population‐based cross‐sectional study in older adults

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Author: Länsitie, Miia1,2,3; Niemelä, Maisa3,4; Kangas, Maarit1,3,4;
Organizations: 1Department of Sports and Exercise Medicine, Oulu Deaconess Institute Foundation sr., Oulu, Finland
2Center for Life Course Health Research, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Medical Research Center, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
4Research Unit of Medical Imaging, Physics and Technology, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
5Institute of Biomedicine, Sports and Exercise Medicine, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
6Healthcare and Social Services of Selänne, Pyhäjärvi, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-04-21


The aim was to analyze the relationship of accelerometry measured physical activity (PA) and sedentary time (SED) profiles to glucose metabolism in 660 people aged 67‐69 years. In this cross‐sectional study, four different PA profiles were identified (couch potatoes, light movers, sedentary actives, actives) based on moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and SED. Glucose metabolism was determined by an oral glucose tolerance test. The prevalence of any glucose metabolism disorder was lower in more active PA profiles than in less active profiles (couch potatoes 50%, actives 33%). According to multivariable linear regression, insulin resistance, 120‐min glucose, and insulin values were lower among the actives compared with the couch potatoes (HOMA‐IR: β = −0.239, 95% CI − 0.456 to −0.022, P = .031; 120‐min glucose: β = −0.459, 95% CI − 0.900 to −0.019, P = .041; 120‐min insulin: β = −0.210, 95% CI − 0.372 to −0.049, P = .011). Prevalence of glucose metabolism disorders were lower and insulin sensitivity was better among the actives compared with the couch potatoes. Active lifestyle with daily MVPA and low SED seems to improve glucose metabolism even in older age and should be recommended for older adults.

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Series: Translational sports medicine
ISSN: 2573-8488
ISSN-E: 2573-8488
ISSN-L: 2573-8488
Volume: 4
Issue: 4
Pages: 439 - 446
DOI: 10.1002/tsm2.237
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 315 Sport and fitness sciences
Funding: This study was supported by the Ministry of Education, Finland; the University of Oulu, Finland; the Oulu Deaconess Institute Foundation sr., Finland; the City of Oulu, Finland; the University Hospital of Oulu, Finland; and the Päivikki and Sakari Sohlberg Foundation, Finland.
Dataset Reference: Oulu45 data are available from the University of Oulu, Infrastructure for Population Studies. Permission to use the data can be applied for research purposes via electronic material request portal. In the use of data, we follow the EU general data protection regulation (679/2016) and Finnish Data Protection Act. The use of personal data is based on cohort participant's written informed consent at his/her latest follow‐up study, which may cause limitations to its use. Please, contact NFBC project center ( and visit the cohort website ( for more information.
Copyright information: © 2021 The Authors. Translational Sports Medicine published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.