ISSN: 2319-5835 

Effect of Leisure-time physical activity on Somatotype and Cardiovascular Health among the Bengali Adolescent boys and girls of Kolkata, India: A Brief Report

Corresponding Author: Mithun DasAssociate Professor & Head, Department of Anthropology & Tribal Studies, Sidho-Kanho-Birsha University, Purulia, WB, India. Email:,

Puja Pathak¹, Anup Adhikari², Mithun Das³
¹Department of Anthropology, West Bengal State University, Kolkata, India
²Anthropometrica, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
³Department of Anthropology & Tribal Studies, Sidho-Kanho-Birsha University, Purulia, WB, India

Manuscript Timeline
Submitted: July 23, 2021
Accepted: October 7, 2021
Published: November 3, 2021

Frontier Anthropology, 2021, 10: 1-6
©Anthropological Society of Manipur


Brief Communication

KEYWORDS Somatotypes, body composition, CVD risk, adolescent, leisure time activity, physical inactivity, adolescent Asian Indians

Objectives: Since Asian Indians are ethnically predisposed to chronic diseases, adopting sedentary behaviour during adolescence would increase disease susceptibility later in adult life. We examined the effect of leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) on somatotype and cardiovascular health of Bengali adolescents.
Material and Methods: A total of 1379 Bengali Hindu adolescents (including 688 boys and 691 girls) of age 10-17 years living in the northern part of Kolkata, India, were studied with all participants belonging to low-to-middle socio-economic status. Anthropometric measures and somatotypes were calculated using standard techniques. LTPA was based on time spent over such activities that require very less or no physical activity.
Results: The ANCOVA test showed that adolescents who spend > 1 hour on such activities had significantly higher (p<0.001) endomorphy- relative fatness, higher mesomorphy- musculoskeletal robustness relative to stature, and significantly lower (p<0.001) ectomorphy- relative linearity, than their counterparts who spend < 1 hour, irrespective of sex, and controlled for age.
Discussion: We found that adolescent cardiovascular health is severely affected by physical inactivity, causing more fat mass deposition- a potential future risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Physical inactivity, perhaps mediated through the habitual practice of sedentary behaviour during adolescence, seems to be an independent risk factor fuelling the epidemic of diabetes and CVD later in adulthood.
Conclusion: Hence early intervention focussing adolescent physical activity is urgently needed to curb the epidemic among the people of the Indian subcontinent.