Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Leg Muscle Power in Relation to Abdominal Adipose Tissue in Adolescents

Danladi Ibrahim Musa, Oluwatoyin O. Toriola, Mohammed N. Abubakar, Sunday U. Jonathan, Daniel Iornyor, Agbana Busayo Emmanuel


Background: Abdominal adiposity is associated with high risk of cardiometabolic diseases. Waist circumference has been used as a surrogate measure of abdominal adipose tissue in both youth and adults. Objectives: The present study evaluated whether cardiorespiratory fitness and leg power (LP) were independently associated with abdominal adipose tissue in 12-16-year-old Nigerian adolescents. Methods: This cross-sectional study comprised 2047 (1087 girls and 960 boys) adolescents who were evaluated for cardiorespiratory fitness and leg power. The cardiorespiratory fitness and leg power were assessed using the progressive cardiovascular endurance run (PACER) test and the vertical jump (VJ) test, respectively. Abdominal adiposity was evaluated with the waist circumference (WC). Regression models controlling for age and maturity status were used to assess the association of fitness and LP with WC. Results: Low leg power had significant negative association with the risk of abdominal adiposity in both girls (β=-0.307; p<0.001) and boys (β=-0.262; p<0.001). The observed relationship was independent of fitness, whereas the relationship between fitness and risk of abdominal adiposity was partly determined by leg power. Conclusion: Leg power and fitness were independently associated with the risk of abdominal adiposity in adolescents, but the association of leg power was stronger in girls. Health promotion efforts targeting reduction of abdominal adipose tissue should also include muscular power training type activities in addition to endurance-related activities.


Adolescent, Abdominal, Cardiorespiratory Fitness, Vertical Jump, Gender Differences, Obesity

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