Differences in physical activity time-use composition associated with cardiometabolic risks

D. E. McGregor, J. Palarea-Albaladejo, P.M. Dall, E. Stamatakis, S.F.M. Chastin

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This study investigates the association between the overall physical activity composition of the day (sedentary behavior (SB), light intensity physical activity (LIPA) and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA)) and cardiometabolic health, and examines whether improved health can be associated with replacing SB with LIPA. A cross-sectional analysis of the Health Survey for England 2008 on N= 1,411 adults was undertaken using a compositional analysis approach to examine the relationship between cardiometabolic risk biomarkers and physical activity accounting for co-dependency between relative amounts of time spent in different behavior. Daily time spent in SB, LIPA and MVPA was determined from waist-mounted accelerometry data (Actigraph GT1M) and modelled against BMI, waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio, blood pressure, total and HDL cholesterol, HbA1c, and VO2 maximum. The composition of time spent in SB, LIPA and MVPA was statistically significantly associated with BMI, waist circumference, waist-to-hips ratio, HDL cholesterol and VO2 maximum (p<0.001), but not HbA1c, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, or total cholesterol. Increase of relative time spent in MVPA was beneficially associated with obesity markers, HDL cholesterol, and VO2 maximum, and SB with poorer outcomes. The association of changes in LIPA depended on whether it displaced MVPA or SB. Increasing the proportion of MVPA alone may have the strongest potential association with adiposity outcomes and HDL cholesterol but similar outcomes could also be associated with a lower quantity of MVPA provided a greater quantity of SB is replaced overall with LIPA (around 10.5 minutes of LIPA is equivalent to one minute of MVPA).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-29
Number of pages7
JournalPreventive Medicine Reports
Early online date13 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


  • MVPA
  • sedentary behavior
  • physical activity
  • compositional data analysis
  • cardiometabolic health
  • adipoisity


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