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Background:

Sedentary behavior is an increasingly recognized health risk factor, independent of physical activity. Although several correlates of sedentary behavior are known, little research has identified them among U.S. veterans, a population that faces disproportionate chronic disease burden.

Methods:

A survey was mailed to 1997 randomly selected veterans at a large urban Veterans Affairs medical center in 2012 and remailed in 2013 to nonresponders, resulting in a 40% response rate. We examined individual-, social-, and neighborhood-level factors in association with self-reported sitting time. Factors correlated with sitting time at P < .05 were included in a multiple linear regression model.

Results:

In the multivariate model, higher depression (B = 7.8), body mass index (B = 5.1), functional impairment (B = 4.2), and self-rated health (B = 68.5) were significantly associated with higher sitting time, and leisure time physical activity (B = –0.10) and being employed (B = –71.3) were significantly associated with lower sitting time.

Conclusions:

Individual-level, but not social- and neighborhood-level, variables were associated with sitting time in this population. This study identified individual-level targets for reducing sitting time and improving overall health among veterans.

Millstein (rmillstein@gmail.com) is with the San Diego State University/University of California, San Diego Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, San Diego, CA and Mental Health Service, VA Puget Sound Healthcare System, Seattle Division, Seattle, WA. Hoerster is with the Mental Health Service, VA Puget Sound Healthcare System, Seattle Division, Seattle, WA and Dept of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Rosenberg is with the Group Health Research Institute, Seattle, WA and School of Public Health, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Nelson is with the Health Services Research and Development and General Internal Medicine Service, VA Puget Sound Healthcare System, Seattle Division, Seattle, WA and Dept of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Reiber is with the Health Services Research and Development Service, VA Puget Sound Healthcare System, Seattle Division, Seattle, WA and Depts of Epidemiology and Health Services, School of Public Health University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Saelens is with the Dept of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA and Seattle Children’s Research Institute, Seattle, WA.