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837. Do unfavourable alcohol, smoking, nutrition and physical activity predict sustained leisure time sedentary behaviour? A population-based cohort study

Research Article
Carla F.J. Nooijen, Jette Möller, Yvonne Forsell, Maria Ekblom, Maria R. Galanti, Karin Engström
July 2017

Commentary by Hannah Tarrant, National Heart Foundation of Australia

Sedentary behaviour is a contributor to various chronic diseases, however the context in which it takes place may determine its impact on health. The aim of this study was to identify various lifestyle predictors of sustained leisure-time sedentary behaviour, and additionally assess whether these predictors were dependant on a range of demographic factors.

Data was collected via the Stockholm Public Health unit longitudinal cohort of 49 133 adults (18 to 97 years) between 2010 and 2014. Variables of interest included leisure-time sedentary behaviour (>3 hours of leisure sitting time per day), and those classed as sedentary were later categorised as whether they had sustained or reduced this sedentary level at follow-up. Predictors of physical inactivity included ‘unfavourable’ alcohol consumption, smoking, nutrition and engagement in physical activity (e.g. low physical activity levels). To analyse the data, chi-square and t-tests assessed differences in baseline characteristics between those identified to have sustained or reduced sedentary behaviour. Odds ratios and corresponding 95% Confidence Intervals for sustained sedentary behaviour were also calculated for each predictor variable.

Key results identified that in comparison to a reduction in leisure-time sedentary behaviour, unfavourable alcohol and nutrition (candy or cake consumption), and unfavourable physical activity levels in various contexts were shown to predict sustained sedentary behaviour over a four-year period. Furthermore, demographic factors (age, gender, education, socioeconomic position) and occupational sedentary behaviour were not predictors of these unfavourable behaviours.  

The findings of this study demonstrate that those who engage in unhealthy lifestyle habits, including low levels of physical activity, are more likely to remain in a sedentary pattern over a four-year period than sedentary individuals with a healthier lifestyle. These findings prompt consideration of combining health interventions to target multiple unfavourable lifestyle behaviours, which may assist in reducing the impact of sedentary behaviour, and ultimately improve population health. 

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