Relationship Between Sedentary Behavior and Physical Activity at Work and Cognition and Mood

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background: Sedentary behavior is negatively associated with cognition and mood. Adults often engage in high levels of sedentary behavior at work through sitting, which may impact productivity. Consequently, replacing sitting with standing and physical activity (PA) is recommended. However, the associations between sitting, standing, and PA at work and cognition and mood are unknown; this study, therefore, aimed to explore these relationships. Methods: A total of 75 healthy full-time workers (33 male, mean [SD]; 33.6 [10.4] y, 38 [7] work hr/wk) wore sedentary behavior (activPAL) and PA (SenseWear Pro) monitors for 7 days and recorded their work hours. The day after this monitoring period, participants completed cognitive tests (executive function, attention, and working memory) and mood questionnaires (affect, alert, content, and calm). Multiple linear regression analyses examined the associations between cognition and mood and the time spent sitting, standing, and in each PA intensity during work hours, weekday leisure time, and weekends. Results: Workplace sitting, standing, or PA were not significantly associated with cognition or mood (P > .05). No significant associations were observed between these variables during weekday leisure time or weekends (P > .05). Conclusions: In a cohort of healthy workers, workplace sitting, standing, and PA are not associated with cognition or mood. Further research in this population is needed, examining the influence of workplace behaviors on cognition and mood, because this will contribute to evidence-based workplace guidelines to increase productivity.

Carter, Thijssen, and Hopkins are with the Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, United Kingdom. Carter is also with the School of Science, Technology and Health, York St John University, York, United Kingdom. Draijer is with the Unilever Foods Innovation Centre, Wageningen, The Netherlands. Thompson is with the Wolfson Centre for Personalised Medicine, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom. Thijssen is also with the Radboud Institute for Health Sciences, Department of Physiology, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Carter (s.carter@yorksj.ac.uk) is corresponding author.

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