Obesity is a well-known risk factor for insulin resistance syndrome (IRS). Nevertheless, limited data are available regarding the effects of physical activity (PA) intensity on the ability to modulate IRS. The study aim was to investigate the beneficial effects of the longer duration of light PA vs. a single bout of the acute moderate or vigorous PA for improvement in IRS indicators. Sixty metabolically healthy obese (MHO) participants, 30 males and 30 females, with body mass index (BMI) of ≥30 were enrolled in this study. PA levels were measured using an accelerometer, and the expression of monocytic surface markers was analyzed using flow cytometry. Plasma cytokines' secretion was determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Univariate regression analysis evaluated the actigraphy-assessed PA measures, inflammatory cytokines, and insulin resistance. The longer duration of PA was found to be associated with the homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), a lower lipid profile, and the expression of inflammatory cytokines by monocytes. Even though, higher intensities of PA were found to be associated with lower body fat percentage, only the light intensity PA was found to be beneficial as it associated with the improved insulin sensitivity and lower expression of inflammatory markers. In conclusion, maintaining the longer duration of low-intensity PA throughout the day could be more beneficial for reducing inflammation and improving insulin resistance. This study supports a more feasible approach model to gain beneficial lifestyle changes for the prevention of IRS in metabolically healthy adults with obesity.
- physical activity