Accelerometer-Assessed Prolonged Sitting During Work and Leisure Time and Associations With Age, Body Mass Index, and Health: A Cross-Sectional Study

in Journal for the Measurement of Physical Behaviour
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  • 1 Aarhus University Hospital
  • 2 Aarhus University
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Background: High levels of sitting may have a negative impact on health. The aim of this study was to examine how sitting time varies between work and leisure time and to identify parameters associated with overall sitting time and prolonged sitting. Methods: In a total of 189 persons ≥18 years randomly selected from the Danish Civil Registration System, sitting time was monitored with an accelerometer-based sensor mounted at the mid-thigh. Moreover, participants completed a questionnaire including data on demographics, work schedule, and general health. Data were processed using a custom built algorithm. Overall sitting was parametrized as mean % of time spent sitting and prolonged sitting as s (periods exceeding 30 minutes). Results: During working hours, the mean overall sitting time (49.2%) was significantly lower than during leisure time on both working days (60.6%, p < .0001) and on days off work (58.9%, p < .0001). For men, prolonged sitting was positively associated with age, while corresponding associations were negative among female participants (p = .01). Body mass index (BMI) increased by 0.06 kg/m2 for every % increase in prolonged sitting (p = .005). The odds ratio of reporting poor health was 1.05 for every % increase in overall sitting during leisure time on workdays (p = .005). Conclusions: Overall sitting time varies between work and leisure time. Prolonged sitting is positively associated with age for men and with BMI for both men and women.

Mechlenburg and Tjur are with the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark. Mechlenburg and Overgaard are with the Section for Sport Science, Department of Public Health; and Mechlenburg is also with the Department of Clinical Medicine; Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark.

Mechlenburg (inger.mechlenburg@clin.au.dk) is corresponding author.
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