A Cross-Sectional Examination of Physical Activity, Sedentary Time, and Sleep Between Adults With and Without Children in the Home Using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background: Physical activity (PA), sedentary behavior, and sleep are interconnected, promoting optimal health. Few studies have examined these factors holistically. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to capture the 24-hour activity cycles of the US population by examining PA, sedentary behavior, and sleep based on the presence of a child within the home, as well as gender and weight. Methods: Cross-sectional health-related variables from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were used for analysis. The primary variables were the total and type of PA (recreation, work, and active transportation), sedentary behavior, and sleep. Chi-square and regression models were applied to compare the outcomes across participants’ characteristics. Results: The adults with children within the home reported less recreational PA, more work activity, less sedentary activity, and less sleep, but no differences in total PA. The females with children in the home not only had the lowest levels of recreational activity and sleep, but also the lowest levels of sedentary behavior. The obese individuals with children in the home had less sedentary time than the adults without children in the home, regardless of weight status. Conclusions: Unhealthy sleep and PA behaviors are prevalent in adults with children living at home, and women are particularly impacted.

Dinkel is with the School of Health and Kinesiology, University of Nebraska, Omaha, NE, USA. Lu and Jacobson are with the Department of Population Health, University of Kansas School of Medicine–Wichita, Wichita, KS, USA. John is with the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX, USA. Snyder is with the Department of Physical Therapy, Creighton University, Omaha, NE, USA.

Dinkel (dmdinkel@unomaha.edu) is corresponding author.
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