Objectively assessed light and total physical activities are positively associated with kidney function in patients in the early stages of chronic kidney disease (CKD); objectively or subjectively assessed moderate to vigorous physical activity is not associated significantly. Increased physical activity may slow the progression of CKD by reducing oxidative stress and inflammation, reducing blood pressure, and contributing to weight loss.
Hawkins and coworkers obtained data from the 2003-2004 and 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Patients were asked to wear an accelerometer and were given a physical activity questionnaire. The primary outcome, kidney function, was determined by estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) using a formula based on serum creatinine level, sex, race, and age.
Physical activity generally was related to log eGFR in both women and men. In women, there was a consistent association between light and total physical activity and log eGFR regardless of diabetes mellitus (DM) status. In men, the association was significant only in those who did not have DM.
The authors noted that many professional practice guideline statements of health benefits of physical activity focus on higher-intensity activity, but recently more attention has been paid to activities of lower intensity.