University of Oulu

Niemelä, M, Kiviniemi, A, Kangas, M, et al. Prolonged bouts of sedentary time and cardiac autonomic function in midlife. Transl Sports Med. 2019; 2: 341– 350.

Prolonged bouts of sedentary time and cardiac autonomic function in midlife

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Author: Niemelä, Maisa1,2,3; Kiviniemi, Antti3,4; Kangas, Maarit1,3;
Organizations: 1Research Unit of Medical Imaging, Physics and Technology, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Infotech, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Medical Research Center, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
4Research Unit of Internal Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
5Department of Sports and Exercise Medicine, Oulu Deaconess Institute Foundation, Oulu, Finland
6Polar Electro, Kempele, Finland
7LIKES Research Centre for Physical Activity and Health, Jyväskylä, Finland
8NordLab Oulu, Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital and Department of Clinical Chemistry, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
9Center for Life Course Health Research, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
10Diagnostic Radiology, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.1 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2019
Publish Date: 2020-01-21


Excessive sedentary time (SED) and long SED bouts are associated with cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and increased mortality. Low heart rate variability (HRV), indicating autonomic dysfunction, increases mortality and CVD morbidity. Information about the association between prolonged SED and HRV is lacking. The aim was to assess the relationship between SED bouts and HRV. Physical activity (PA), SED, HRV, and cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) were collected from a birth‐cohort sample (n = 4150) at 46 years. PA and SED were measured for 14 days with an activity monitor (Polar Active, Polar Electro, Finland). SED accumulating in bouts of at least 30 and 60 minutes (SED30, SED60) was calculated. Linear regression was used to study the relationship between prolonged SED and HRV accounting for CRF, PA, and health covariates. Higher SED60 and in women SED30 were associated with higher root mean square of differences in R‐R intervals (rMSSD) after adjustments (β = .082‐.104). In women, higher SED60 was associated with lower ratio between low‐ and high‐frequency powers (β = −.060). Sedentary bouts were not associated with resting HR or post‐exercise HR recovery. A positive relationship between SED bouts and rMSSD independent of PA and CRF was found, prolonged SED being positively associated with cardiac parasympathetic activity in midlife.

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Series: Translational sports medicine
ISSN: 2573-8488
ISSN-E: 2573-8488
ISSN-L: 2573-8488
Volume: 2
Pages: 341 - 350
DOI: 10.1002/tsm2.100
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
Funding: NFBC1966 received financial support from the University of Oulu [grant number 24000692], Oulu University Hospital [grant number 24301140], and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) [grant number 539/2010 A31592]. The study has been financially supported by the Ministry of Education and Culture in Finland [grant numbers OKM/86/626/2014, OKM/43/626/2015, OKM/17/626/2016, OKM/54/626/2019]; Infotech Oulu, Finland; Tauno Tönningin Säätiö; the Northern Ostrobothnia Hospital District; EU H2020 MSCA COFUND [grant number 713 645]; the Paulo Foundation; and the Finnish Foundation for Cardiovascular Research. The funders of this study did not have any role in its design, data collection, analysis, and interpretation or in writing the manuscript. We thank the participants in the 46‐year study and the staff at the NFBC Project Center.
Copyright information: © 2019 The Authors. Translational Sports Medicine published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial‐NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non‐commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.