New Study: Sedentary Behavior Is Not Associated with Cardiometabolic Risk in Adults with Abdominal Obesity

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A new study published in PLoS ONE by Drs Ashlee McGuire and Bob Ross at Queen’s University reports that sedentary behaviour is not associated with markers of cardiometabolic risk in adults with abdominal obesity.


The primary aim of this study was to determine whether time spent in sedentary behaviors (SED) was associated with 2-hour glucose and insulin resistance in adults with abdominal obesity. We also examined the association between light physical activity (LPA) and sporadic (accumulated in bouts <10 minutes in duration) moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) with glucose metabolism.


Participants were 135 inactive, abdominally obese adults recruited from Kingston, Canada. SED and physical activity were determined by accelerometry over 7 days and summarized as SED (accelerometer counts/min <100), LPA (counts/min 100–1951), and MVPA (counts/min ≥1952). A 75 g oral glucose tolerance test was used to ascertain 2-hour glucose; the homeostasis model of assessment was used to determine insulin resistance (HOMA-IR); lipid, lipoproteins and blood pressure were determined using standard protocols. Secondary analyses considered the association between SED and physical activity with other cardiometabolic risk factors.


Participants spent 627.2±82.9 min/d in SED, 289.0±91.7 min/d in LPA and 19.2±13.5 min/d in MVPA. Neither SED nor the physical activity variables were associated with 2-hour glucose or HOMA-IR (p>0.05). In secondary analyses, SED was not associated with any cardiometabolic risk factor (p>0.1); with the exception of blood pressure (p<0.05), LPA was not associated with any cardiometabolic risk factor (p>0.1); and MVPA was independently associated with total cholesterol and triglycerides (p<0.05).


Objectively measured SED was not associated with 2-hr glucose or HOMA-IR. Our findings also suggest that the accumulation of LPA and sporadic MVPA is not associated with glucose metabolism in adults with abdominal obesity.

The full study can be downloaded without a subscription via PLoS ONE.

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