• cytokines;
  • granulocyte colony-stimulating factor;
  • F2-isoprostanes;
  • antioxidant capacity;
  • leukocytes;
  • body mass index;
  • perceived physical fitness

The objective of this study was to determine if the inverse relationship between perceived physical fitness (pFIT) and exercise frequency (ExFreq) levels and chronic inflammation and oxidative stress exists after making statistical adjustments for confounders including body mass index (BMI), age, gender, and cigarette smoking. Study participants (60% female and 40% male; n = 998) varied widely in age (18–85 years) and BMI (16.7–52.7 kg/m2) completed an extensive medical/health and lifestyle questionnaire, and data were used to establish pFIT and ExFreq tertiles. Biomarkers included serum C-reactive protein (CRP), total blood leukocytes, five plasma cytokines [interleukin (IL)-6, IL-10, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP1), and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (GCSF)], F2-isoprostanes, ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP), and oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC). A general linear model was used to examine relationships between pFIT and ExFreq with inflammation and oxidative stress while controlling for age, gender, BMI, and smoking. Benjamini–Hochberg method for false discovery rate correction was used for multiple testing corrections. Significant tests (P < 0.05) for trend were found for the effect of pFIT and ExFreq on CRP, white blood cell, IL-6, TNF-α, GCSF, and F2-isoprostanes, but not MCP1, IL-10, FRAP, and ORAC, after adjustment for confounders. These data indicate that an inverse relationship exists among chronic inflammation, oxidative stress, and pFIT and ExFreq at the community level even after adjustment for important confounders.