Examining Patterns of Sedentary Behaviour & Mortality in US Middle-Aged & Older Adults

Research Paper Title

Patterns of Sedentary Behavior and Mortality in U.S. Middle-Aged and Older Adults: A National Cohort Study.

Background

Excessive sedentary time is ubiquitous in Western societies. Previous studies have relied on self-reporting to evaluate the total volume of sedentary time as a prognostic risk factor for mortality and have not examined whether the manner in which sedentary time is accrued (in short or long bouts) carries prognostic relevance.

Objective

To examine the association between objectively measured sedentary behavior (its total volume and accrual in prolonged, uninterrupted bouts) and all-cause mortality.

Design

Prospective cohort study.

Setting

Contiguous United States.

Participants

7985 black and white adults aged 45 years or older.

Measurements

Sedentary time was measured using a hip-mounted accelerometer. Prolonged, uninterrupted sedentariness was expressed as mean sedentary bout length. Hazard ratios (HRs) were calculated comparing quartiles 2 through 4 to quartile 1 for each exposure (quartile cut points: 689.7, 746.5, and 799.4 min/d for total sedentary time; 7.7, 9.6, and 12.4 min/bout for sedentary bout duration) in models that included moderate to vigorous physical activity.

Results

Over a median follow-up of 4.0 years, 340 participants died. In multivariable-adjusted models, greater total sedentary time (HR, 1.22 [95% CI, 0.74 to 2.02]; HR, 1.61 [CI, 0.99 to 2.63]; and HR, 2.63 [CI, 1.60 to 4.30]; P for trend < 0.001) and longer sedentary bout duration (HR, 1.03 [CI, 0.67 to 1.60]; HR, 1.22 [CI, 0.80 to 1.85]; and HR, 1.96 [CI, 1.31 to 2.93]; P for trend < 0.001) were both associated with a higher risk for all-cause mortality. Evaluation of their joint association showed that participants classified as high for both sedentary characteristics (high sedentary time [≥12.5 h/d] and high bout duration [≥10 min/bout]) had the greatest risk for death.

Limitation

Participants may not be representative of the general U.S. population.

Conclusions

Both the total volume of sedentary time and its accrual in prolonged, uninterrupted bouts are associated with all-cause mortality, suggesting that physical activity guidelines should target reducing and interrupting sedentary time to reduce risk for death.

Reference

Diaz, K.M., Howard, V.J., Hutto, B., Colabianchi, N., Vena, J.E., Safford, M.M., Blair, S.N. & Hooker, S.P. (2017) Patterns of Sedentary Behavior and Mortality in U.S. Middle-Aged and Older Adults: A National Cohort Study. Annals of Internal Medicine. 167(7), pp.465-475. DOI: 10.7326/M17-0212.

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