Incidental physical activity and sedentary behavior are not associated with abdominal adipose tissue in inactive adults

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2012 Mar;20(3):576-82. doi: 10.1038/oby.2011.278. Epub 2011 Sep 29.


The aim was to determine the association between objectively measured incidental physical activity (IPA) (i.e.,nonpurposeful activity accrued through activities of daily living) and sedentary behavior (SED) with abdominal obesity in a sample of inactive men and women. Participants were inactive, abdominally obese men (n = 42; waist circumference (WC) ≥102 cm) and women (n = 84; WC ≥88 cm) recruited from Kingston, Canada. Physical activity and SED were determined by accelerometry over 7 days and summarized as IPA (accelerometer counts per min (cpm) >100), light physical activity (LPA; cpm 100-1951), sporadic moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA; cpm ≥1,952, accumulated in bouts <10 consecutive minutes) and SED (cpm <100). Magnetic resonance imaging was used to acquire measures of abdominal obesity, visceral adipose tissue (VAT), and subcutaneous adipose tissue (ASAT). Participants spent on average 310.2 ± 102.6 min/d in IPA and 627.8 ± 86.9 min/d in SED. Neither IPA nor SED was associated with any measure of abdominal obesity (P > 0.1). Similarly, LPA was not a significant predictor of abdominal obesity whereas sporadic MVPA was negatively associated with VAT (P < 0.05) after control for age and sex. In this study, neither IPA nor SED was associated with abdominal obesity among inactive men and women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Energy Intake
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intra-Abdominal Fat / pathology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity*
  • Obesity, Abdominal / diagnosis*
  • Obesity, Abdominal / epidemiology
  • Obesity, Abdominal / pathology
  • Risk Factors
  • Sedentary Behavior*
  • Waist Circumference