University of Oulu

Farrahi, V., Kangas, M., Kiviniemi, A., Puukka, K., Korpelainen, R. and Jämsä, T. (2021), Accumulation patterns of sedentary time and breaks and their association with cardiometabolic health markers in adults. Scand J Med Sci Sports, 31: 1489-1507.

Accumulation patterns of sedentary time and breaks and their association with cardiometabolic health markers in adults

Saved in:
Author: Farrahi, Vahid1; Kangas, Maarit1,2; Kiviniemi, Antti2,3;
Organizations: 1Research Unit of Medical Imaging, Physics and Technology, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Medical Research Center, Oulu University Hospital, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Research Unit of Internal Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
4Department of Clinical Chemistry, NordLab Oulu, Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
5Center for Life Course Health Research, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
6Department of Sports and Exercise Medicine, Oulu Deaconess Institute Foundation sr, Oulu, Finland
7Diagnostic Radiology, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.8 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-06-10


Breaking up sedentary time with physical activity (PA) could modify the detrimental cardiometabolic health effects of sedentary time. Our aim was to identify profiles according to distinct accumulation patterns of sedentary time and breaks in adults, and to investigate how these profiles are associated with cardiometabolic outcomes. Participants (n = 4439) of the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 at age 46 years wore a hip-worn accelerometer for 7 consecutive days during waking hours. Uninterrupted ≥1-min sedentary bouts were identified, and non-sedentary bouts in between two consecutive sedentary bouts were considered as sedentary breaks. K-means clustering was performed with 65 variables characterizing how sedentary time was accumulated and interrupted. Linear regression was used to determine the association of accumulation patterns with cardiometabolic health markers. Four distinct groups were formed as follows: “Couch potatoes” (n = 1222), “Prolonged sitters” (n = 1179), “Shortened sitters” (n = 1529), and “Breakers” (n = 509). Couch potatoes had the highest level of sedentariness and the shortest sedentary breaks. Prolonged sitters, accumulating sedentary time in bouts of ≥15–30 min, had no differences in cardiometabolic outcomes compared with Couch potatoes. Shortened sitters accumulated sedentary time in bouts lasting <15 min and performed more light-intensity PA in their sedentary breaks, and Breakers performed more light-intensity and moderate-to-vigorous PA. These latter two profiles had lower levels of adiposity, blood lipids, and insulin sensitivity, compared with Couch potatoes (1.1–25.0% lower values depending on the cardiometabolic health outcome, group, and adjustments for potential confounders). Avoiding uninterrupted sedentary time with any active behavior from light-intensity upwards could be beneficial for cardiometabolic health in adults.

see all

Series: Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports
ISSN: 0905-7188
ISSN-E: 1600-0838
ISSN-L: 0905-7188
Volume: 31
Issue: 7
Pages: 1489 - 1507
DOI: 10.1111/sms.13958
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 University of Oulu Grant no. 24000692, Oulu University Hospital Grant no. 24301140, ERDF European Regional Development Fund Grant no. 539/2010 A31592. The present study has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement no. 713645, the Ministry of Education and Culture in Finland [grant numbers OKM/86/626/2014, OKM/43/626/2015, OKM/17/626/2016, OKM 47/626/2017, OKM/78/626/2018, OKM/54/626/2019, OKM/85/626/2019, OKM/88/626/2019, OKM/1096/626/2020], and Northern Ostrobothnia Hospital District. AMK is funded by the Finnish Foundation for Cardiovascular Research (Helsinki, Finland). The funders played no role in designing the study, or collecting, analyzing, and interpreting the data, or writing the manuscript.
EU Grant Number: (713645) BioMEP - Biomedical Engineering and Medical Physics
Dataset Reference: The datasets analyzed in the present study are available from the NFBC Project Centre repository upon request
Copyright information: © 2021 The Authors. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science In Sports published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.