The association between sedentary leisure and physical activity in middle-aged adults.

Research paper by Nicola W NW Burton, Asaduzzaman A Khan, Wendy J WJ Brown, Gavin G Turrell

Indexed on: 04 May '11Published on: 04 May '11Published in: British journal of sports medicine


The aim of this study was to examine the association between time spent in sedentary leisure and physical activity level in mid-aged men and women.Data were from the 2007 HABITAT study in Brisbane, Australia. A mail survey sent to 17 000 adults (40-65 years) provided 11 037 responses (68.5%), and 9121 (82.6%) were analysed. Sedentary leisure was quantified as hours/day spent sitting watching television, in home computer use, in general leisure, and overall, on a usual week and weekend day. Physical activity level (no activity, low, recommended, high, very high) included walking, moderate and vigorous activity combined into a measure of MET.min/week. Data were analysed separately for men and women using multilevel multinomial logistic regression with adjustment for sociodemographic and health variables.The only significant negative associations were between watching television on a week day and high activity in men (0.91; 0.83-0.98), and home computer use on a weekend day and very high activity in men (0.89; 0.81-0.98). For both men and women, there were significant positive associations between overall sedentary leisure time on a week day and very high activity (men: 1.07, 1.02-1.13; women: 1.10, 1.04-1.16), home computer use on a week day and very high activity (men: 1.11, 1.01-1.22; women: 1.15, 1.04-1.27) and general leisure on a week day and most activity levels.Sedentary leisure is mainly independent of physical activity and does not preclude meeting physical activity recommendations.