Background Little is known about the associations of a sedentary lifestyle from childhood with cardiac work and function during adolescence. We studied if cumulative sedentary time and physical activity from childhood to adolescence are associated with cardiac work and function in adolescence.
Methods A total of 153 adolescents aged 15 years at the time of assessment of cardiac work and function participated. We assessed sedentary time and physical activity using a combined movement and heart rate sensor in childhood and adolescence (baseline, 2- and 8-year follow-ups) and cardiac work and function using impedance cardiography in adolescence (8-year follow-up).
Results Cumulative sedentary time from baseline over the follow-up was directly (standardised regression coefficient β=0.245 to 0.246, 95% confidence intervals, CI=0.092 to 0.400) and moderate to vigorous physical activity (β=-0.355 to -0.323, 95% CI=-0.579 to – 0.119), and vigorous physical activity (β=-0.305 to -0.295, 95% CI=-0.524 to -0.083) from baseline over the follow-up was inversely associated with cardiac work at 8-year follow-up. Cumulative vigorous physical activity from baseline to 2- and 8-year follow-up was inversely associated with cardiac work index at 8-year follow-up (β=-0.225 to -0.218, 95% CI=-0.450 to 0.000). However, adiposity and other cardiometabolic risk factors partially explained these associations.
Conclusions Higher levels of sedentary time and lower levels of moderate and/or vigorous-intensity physical activity during childhood were associated with higher cardiac work in adolescence. These findings highlight the importance of obesity prevention and weight management and promotion physically active lifestyle since childhood to prevent abnormalities in cardiac function later in life.