Research Study Abstract

Sedentary/Light Behavior and Obesity

  • Presented on July 3, 2014

Introduction: Prevalence of overweight and obesity, highly sedentary behaviors (SB) and a lack of physical activity (PA) among young children and adolescent are a major public concern. They are important risk factors for many chronic diseases such as diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. However evidence has shown that most children and adolescents do not meet the recommended 60 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous PA and instead, spend the majority of their daily time engaged in sedentary/light PA. Several studies also suggest also that sedentary time per se represents a major risk factor for several chronic diseases. In fact, SB has become more common among younger generations and it’s important to know the association with overweight and obesity in children and adolescents.

Methods: The sample comprised 474 subject, 266 girls and 208 boys (aged 13,71 ± 2,53, and 13,33 ± 2,67, respectively). PA was measured using Actigraph accelerometers model GT3Xs. Participants were instructed to use the accelerometer according to standard procedures, and data analyzed using the recommended guidelines. The body mass index (BMI) was assessed and classified in normal, overweight and obese, according to standard recommendations. ANalysis Of VAriance was used to test the results, using SPSS.

Results: Overweight (763 min.) and obese (787 min.) subjects accumulated more SB and light physical activity (p≤0,05) than the subjects with normal weight. The results showed significant differences between overweight (755 min.), obesity (781 min.) and normal boys (718 min.)p<0.05. Overweight (769 min.), obesity (792min.) and normal girls (770min.) didn’t have significant differences, but demonstrated a passive trend.

Discussion: The results indicate that overweight/obese children have higher overall SB time and light physical activity compared to normal weight children. These results are similar to those that were found by Herman et al., (2014). Therefore, according to some studies, overweight and obese children tend to drift from lower levels of physical activity and to increase sedentary behavior (Marshall et al., 2004), however, research is needed to continue to develop means of gathering more comprehensive data in order to better elucidate the full nature of SB.

References: Herman K, Sabistonb C, Mathieuc M, Tremblayd A, Paradise G. (2014). Preventive Medicine, 60, 115-120. Marshall S, Biddle S, Gorely T., Cameron N., Murdey I.. (2004). International Journal of Obesity, 28, 1238-1246.

Grants: Research Project supoorted by: SFRH / BD / 79886 / 2011; PTDC/DTP-DES/1328/2012 (FCOMP-01-0124-FEDER-028619); and Research Center supported by: PEst-OE/SAU/UI0617/2011.