Associations Between Breaks in Sedentary Time and Body Size in Pacific Mothers and Their Children: Findings From the Pacific Islands Families Study

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Breaks in sedentary behavior are associated with reduced body size in general populations. This study is the first to consider the relationship between objectively assessed sedentary breaks and body size in Pacific children and their mothers.


Pacific children aged 6 years (n = 393) and their mothers (n = 386) residing in New Zealand were invited to participate in 2006. Sedentary time was assessed via accelerometry. Average frequency, duration, and intensity of breaks in sedentary time per hour were calculated. Waist circumference was assessed and demographic factors collected via questionnaire. Relationships between waist circumference and potential associated factors for participants were assessed using linear regression analyses.


Accelerometer data were obtained from 126 children (52 boys) and 108 mothers. Mean (standard deviation) waist circumference values for mothers and children were 114 cm (20.1 cm) and 59.4 cm (7.8 cm), respectively. For mothers, time spent sedentary and being an ex/nonsmoker were positively related to waist circumference. For children, watching television every day and having a mother with a high waist circumference was associated with a greater waist circumference.


Strategies that focus on reducing sedentary time in Pacific mothers and on encouraging television free days in young Pacific children are recommended.

Oliver and Schofield are with the Human Potential Centre, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand. Schluter is with the School of Health Sciences, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, Otago, New Zealand. Healy is with the School of Population Health, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Tautolo is with the Centre for Pacific Health and Development Research, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand. Rush is with the Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand.