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The association between sedentary behaviors during weekdays and weekend with change in body composition in young adults

Clemens Drenowatz Madison M. DeMello Robin P. Shook Gregory A. Hand Stephanie Burgess Steven N. Blair

*Corresponding author: Clemens Drenowatz drenowat@mailbox.sc.edu


High sedentary time has been considered an important chronic disease risk factor but there is only limited information on the association of specific sedentary behaviors on weekdays and weekend-days with body composition. The present study examines the prospective association of total sedentary time and specific sedentary behaviors during weekdays and the weekend with body composition in young adults. Methods: A total of 332 adults (50% male; 27.7 ± 3.7 years) were followed over a period of 1 year. Time spent sedentary, excluding sleep (SED), and in physical activity (PA) during weekdays and weekend-days was objectively assessed every 3 months with a multi-sensor device over a period of at least 8 days. In addition, participants reported sitting time, TV time and non-work related time spent at the computer separately for weekdays and the weekend. Fat mass and fat free mass were assessed via dual x-ray absorptiometry and used to calculate percent body fat (%BF). Energy intake was estimated based on TDEE and change in body composition. Results: Cross-sectional analyses showed a significant correlation between SED and body composition (0.18 ≤ r ≤ 0.34). Associations between body weight and specific sedentary behaviors were less pronounced and significant during weekdays only (r ≤ 0.16). Nevertheless, decrease in SED during weekends, rather than during weekdays, was significantly associated with subsequent decrease in %BF (β = 0.06, p <0.01). After adjusting for PA and energy intake, results for SED were no longer significant. Only the association between change in sitting time during weekends and subsequent %BF was independent from change in PA or energy intake (β%BF = 0.04, p = 0.01), while there was no significant association between TV or computer time and subsequent body composition. Conclusions: The stronger prospective association between sedentary behavior during weekends with subsequent body composition emphasizes the importance of leisure time behavior in weight management.

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