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Low activity levels may put women at risk for metabolic syndrome

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Many women may be at risk for receiving unhealthy cholesterol test results and being diagnosed with metabolic syndrome due to low levels of physical activity, according to a new study published in the journal Preventive Medicine.

A team of researchers from Oregon State University surveyed more than 1,000 men and women about their daily exercise habits. The results showed that the average man spent about 30 minutes per day engaged in physical activity. However, the average woman was only active for about 18 minutes per day.

The researchers said that these low levels of exercise put a person at a substantial risk of developing metabolic syndrome, a condition marked by unhealthy cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, poorly regulated glucose levels and abdominal obesity.

"Some evidence suggests that women, compared to men, have less confidence in their ability to overcome their exercise-related barriers," said lead researcher Paul Loprinzi. "Those who get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day are less likely to be depressed, less likely to have high cholesterol and less likely to have metabolic syndrome."

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