Sedentary Behaviour & Sociodemographic Variables

Research Paper Title

Prevalence of Leisure-time Sedentary Behaviour and Sociodemographic Correlates: A Cross-sectional Study in Spanish Adults.


Being physically inactive has been linked to a higher mortality and poorer quality of life. This cross-sectional study examines the prevalence of leisure-time sedentary behaviour in a population of Spanish adults and its correlates with several sociodemographic variables.


Data were collected from 1,330 subjects living in Madrid (age: 18-65 years, 51.6% women) by telephone interview. The sampling error was ±2.7% for a 95.5% confidence level. Leisure-time sedentary behaviour was assessed using the Global Physical Activity Questionnaire (version 2). Further factors examined were: country of birth, sex, age, civil state, education level, employment and economic status and physical activity of parents.


76.3% of the subjects interviewed reported a mostly sedentary leisure-time lifestyle. The remaining subjects (23.7%) reported a moderate to high level of physical activity, meeting minimum recommendations. Logistic regression adjusted for all variables identified the following population subsets as showing a greater risk of sedentary behaviour: women (odds ratio (OR) = 2.14; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.64, 2.79), participants aged 41-50 years (OR = 1.64; 95%CI:1.05, 2.51), those with a middle economic status (OR = 1.48; 95% CI: 1.04, 2.10) or not providing information about their income (OR = 1.97; 95% CI: 1.05, 3.67), and those whose father (OR = 1.53; 95% CI: 1.13, 2.07) and/or mother (OR = 1.41; 95% CI: 1.01, 1.97) were never physically active during leisure-time.


The high prevalence of self-reported sedentary behaviour recorded suggests the need for public health policies targeted at increasing leisure-time physical activity levels. Our data identified several population subsets as priority candidates for possible interventions pursuing this goal.


Macías, R., Garrido-Muñoz, M., Tejero-González, C.T., Lucia, A., López-Adán, E. & Rodríguez-Romo, G. (2014) Prevalence of Leisure-time Sedentary Behaviour and Sociodemographic Correlates: A Cross-sectional Study in Spanish Adults. BMC Public Health. 14, pp.972. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-972.


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