Physical activity and sedentary time have distinct physiologic and metabolic effects, but little is known about their joint associations.
The Canadian Health Measures Survey (n = 5950) was used to (i) examine the joint relationship between active/non-sedentary (referent group), active/sedentary, inactive/non-sedentary and inactive/sedentary phenotypes on obesity and metabolic health; and (ii) compare these relationships when using objective (accelerometer) total activity or subjective (self-report) leisure-time measures. Weighted associations for the metabolic syndrome (MetS), individual MetS components, 1+ disease (1 or more of diabetes, myocardial infarction, stroke, cardiovascular disease) and obesity were estimated using logistic regression.
After adjustments, the odds (OR, 95% CI) of 1+ disease (OR = 3.05, 1.47–6.34) and abdominal obesity (OR = 2.75, 1.16–6.55) were higher in the inactive/sedentary group versus the referent group (OR = 1.00) when measured objectively. Within self-report leisure-time groups, elevated odds were observed for the inactive/sedentary group for MetS, obesity, abdominal obesity and elevated triglycerides. Inactive/non-sedentary and active/sedentary groups were similarly protective when measured by accelerometer.
Using accelerometer data, the inactive/sedentary group was at higher risk for 1+ disease and abdominal obesity only, whereas the active/sedentary and inactive/non-sedentary groups were not at higher risk for any health outcome.