Racial/Ethnic Differences in the Associations Between Physical Activity and Sleep Duration: A Population-Based Study

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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This study examined associations between physical activity (recreational, nonrecreational) and sleep duration among a nationally representative diverse sample of U.S. adults.


We used cross-sectional data from 9,205 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2007 to 2012 participants aged 20 to 65 years who identified as White, Black, or Hispanic. Activity (ie, recreation, occupation, and transportation activity) was categorized into quartiles. Sleep duration was categorized as short (≤6 hours/night) or normal (>6 to ≤9 hours/night). Logistic regression was used to estimate associations of activity with sleep duration.


Recommended levels of recreation activity and moderate levels of transportation activity were associated with normal sleep duration [Odds Ratio (OR): = 1.33, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) = 1.08, 1.65; OR = 1.28, 95% CI = 1.02, 1.62, respectively]. High occupation physical activity was associated with shorter sleep duration (OR = 0.59, 95% CI = 0.49, 0.71). Differences were observed by race/ethnicity in associations of recreation and occupation activity with sleep duration.


White individuals who engaged in some recreation activity, relative to being inactive, had more favorable sleep duration; whereas, high levels of occupation activity were associated with worse sleep duration among White and Black individuals. Physical activity was not associated with sleep duration among Hispanics.

Murillo is with the University of Houston, Dept of Psychological, Health, and Learning Sciences, Houston, TX. Lambiase was with the Department of Veterans Affairs, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, Pittsburgh, PA. Rockette-Wagner is Dept of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA. Kriska is with the Dept of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA. Haibach is with the Health Services Research and Development, US Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington, DC.

Thurston is with the Dept of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA. Murillo (rmurillo3@uh.edu) is corresponding author.