Are the fittest Canadian adults the healthiest?
Data from the Canadian Health Measures Survey (cycles 1 and 2) were analyzed to determine if higher fitness categories are associated with better health. Respondents’ fitness was assessed in terms of cardiorespiratory fitness, grip strength, sit-and-reach and partial curl-ups, and also according to two composite measures (back fitness and musculoskeletal fitness). Fitness scores could range from “Needs improvement” to “Excellent.” Pairwise t-tests were used to compare health outcomes across fitness categories. The health outcomes were waist circumference, blood pressure, glycated hemoglobin, ratio of total cholesterol to high-density lipoprotein, lung function, self-rated health, life satisfaction, and number of chronic conditions. All health outcomes except systolic blood pressure were significantly better among respondents whose cardiorespiratory fitness was “Excellent,” compared with “Needs improvement.” For grip strength and partial curl-ups, only glycated hemoglobin and self-rated health were better among respondents in the “Excellent” category, compared with “Needs improvement.” Lung function was worse in those with better grip strength. No significant associations with health outcomes emerged for sit-and-reach.
quality of life
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