Differences in context-specific sedentary behaviors according to weight status in adolescents, adults and seniors: a compositional data analysis

Sofie Compernolle, Delfien Van Dyck, Katrien De Cocker , Javier Palarea-Albaladejo, Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij, Greet Cardon, Sebastien F.M. Chastin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
98 Downloads (Pure)


To develop effective sedentary behavior interventions aimed at people who are overweight/obese, detailed insight is needed into the contexts of sedentary behavior of these people. Therefore, the aims of this study were to describe the composition of sedentary behavior and to compare context-specific sedentary behaviors between different weight groups. Cross-sectional data were used from a study conducted in 2013–2014 among a Flemish sample of adolescents (n = 513), adults (n = 301), and seniors (n = 258). Sixteen context-specific sedentary behaviors were assessed using a validated questionnaire during the week and weekend. Compositional descriptive statistics were performed to determine the relative contribution of context-specific sedentary behaviors in the three age groups. Compositional multivariate analysis of covariance and pairwise comparisons were conducted to examine weight group differences in context-specific sedentary behaviors. The compositional means indicated that the highest proportion of sedentary time was spent at school, at work, and while watching television. Statistically significant differences were found in the composition of sedentary behaviors between healthy weight and overweight/obese participants. In all age groups, socially engaging sedentary behaviors were more prevalent in healthy weight people, whereas socially disengaging behaviors were more prevalent in overweight/obese people. Consequently, the findings of this study suggest that future overweight/obesity interventions should no longer focus on total sedentary time, as not all context-specific sedentary behaviors are associated with overweight/obesity. Instead, it might be better to target specific contexts of sedentary behaviors—preferably those less socially engaging—when aiming to reduce overweight/obesity.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1916
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number9
Early online date3 Sept 2018
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2018


  • domain-specific sedentary behavior; sitting; BMI; compositional data analysis
  • sitting
  • BMI
  • compositional data analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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