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The purpose of the study was to determine the relationship between sedentary behavior (SB), physical activity (PA), and body fat (total, abdominal) or body size (body-mass index [BMI], waist circumference [WC]) in community-dwelling adults 50 yr old and over. This study included 232 ambulatory adults (50–87 yr, 37.4% ± 9.6% body fat [BF]). Average daily time spent in SB (<100 counts/min) and light (100–759 counts/min), lifestyle-moderate (760–1,951 counts/min), walking-moderate (1,952–5,724cts/min), and vigorous-intensity (≥5,725 counts/min) PA were determined by accelerometer and corrected for wear time. BF was measured with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. SB was positively related to measures of BF. Measures of SB, PA, and gender accounted for 55.6% of the variance in total BF, 32.4% of the variance in abdominal fat, and 28.0% of the variance in WC. SB, PA, and age accounted for 27.1% of the variance in BMI. Time spent in SB should be considered when designing obesity interventions for adults 50 yr old and over.

Swartz, Miller, Hart, Grimm, Rote, and Strath are with the Dept. of Human Movement Sciences, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI. Tarima is with the Inst. for Health and Society, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI.