European journal of preventive cardiology, Volume 30, Issue 3, 1 1 2023, Pages 232-240 Setting your clock: associations between timing of objective physical activity and cardiovascular disease risk in the general population. Albalak G, Stijntjes M, van Bodegom D, Jukema JW, Atsma DE, van Heemst D, Noordam R


Little is known about the impact of daily physical activity timing (here referred to as 'chronoactivity') on cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. We aimed to examined the associations between chronoactivity and multiple CVD outcomes in the UK Biobank.

Methods and results

physical activity data were collected in the UK-Biobank through triaxial accelerometer over a 7-day measurement period. We used K-means clustering to create clusters of participants with similar chronoactivity irrespective of the mean daily intensity of the physical activity. Multivariable-adjusted Cox-proportional hazard models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) comparing the different clusters adjusted for age and sex (model 1), and baseline cardiovascular risk factors (model 2). Additional stratified analyses were done by sex, mean activity level, and self-reported sleep chronotype. We included 86 657 individuals (58% female, mean age: 61.6 [SD: 7.8] years, mean BMI: 26.6 [4.5] kg/m2). Over a follow-up period of 6 years, 3707 incident CVD events were reported. Overall, participants with a tendency of late morning physical activity had a lower risk of incident coronary artery disease (HR: 0.84, 95%CI: 0.77, 0.92) and stroke (HR: 0.83, 95%CI: 0.70, 0.98) compared to participants with a midday pattern of physical activity. These effects were more pronounced in women (P-value for interaction = 0.001). We did not find evidence favouring effect modification by total activity level and sleep chronotype.


Irrespective of total physical activity, morning physical activity was associated with lower risks of incident cardiovascular diseases, highlighting the potential importance of chronoactivity in CVD prevention.

Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2023 2;30(3):232-240