Why Women Sit: Determinants of Leisure Sitting Time for Working Women.

Research paper by Shana M SM Walsh, M Renée MR Umstattd Meyer, Andreas A Stamatis, Grant B GB Morgan

Indexed on: 27 Aug '15Published on: 27 Aug '15Published in: Women's Health Issues


Sedentary behavior is associated with negative health consequences independent of physical activity levels. Evidence suggests the work environment promotes sedentary behavior regardless of sector, and that employees with occupations requiring longer sitting times differ only marginally in leisure sitting time from those with more active occupations. Because physical activity opportunities may be limited across many work settings, leisure sedentary time may be more easily replaced with physical activity. Understanding correlates of leisure sedentary behaviors could inform interventions, specifically for women who are among the least active in America.Female employees at two universities completed online surveys (n = 156; mean age, 45.12 [SD = 12.5]; mean BMI, 26.7 kg/m(2) [SD = 5.9]; mean work hours/week, 43.7 [SD = 9.4]). Bivariate correlations and two hierarchical regression analyses were conducted to examine personal and behavioral correlates of weekday and weekend leisure sitting time.Final regression models revealed that greater weekday leisure sitting time (R(2) = 0.307) was related with being older (p = .006), having fewer children (p = .001), self-reporting poorer health (p = .006), and greater weekend sitting time (p < .001). Greater weekend leisure sitting time (R(2) = 0.261) was related with greater work-related sitting time (p = .020) and greater weekday leisure sitting time (p < .001). Physical activity was not related with weekday or weekend leisure sitting time.The most prominent correlates of leisure sitting time were other types of sedentary behaviors. This suggests that sedentary time in one segment of life predicts time spent sitting in other areas of life. Future interventions should target decreasing sedentary behaviors during leisure time specifically, in addition to increasing physical activity behavior.