Sedentary lifestyle and its relation to cardiovascular risk factors, insulin resistance and inflammatory profile

Rev Esp Cardiol (Engl Ed). 2014 Jun;67(6):449-55. doi: 10.1016/j.rec.2013.10.015. Epub 2014 Feb 26.


Introduction and objectives: To analyze the association between sitting time and biomarkers of insulin resistance and inflammation in a sample of healthy male workers.

Methods: Cross-sectional study carried out in a sample of 929 volunteers belonging to the Aragon Workers' Health Study cohort. Sociodemographic, anthropometric, pharmacological and laboratory data were collected: lipids-total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, apolipoproteins A-1 and B-100, lipoprotein (a)-, insulin resistance-glucose, glycated hemoglobin, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance, insulin, and triglyceride/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio-, and inflammatory profile-C-reactive protein and leukocytes. Information on sitting time and physical activity was assessed using a questionnaire. Sedentary behavior was analyzed in terms of prevalences and medians, according to tertiles, using a multivariate model (crude and adjusted linear regression) with biomarkers of inflammation and insulin resistance.

Results: The most sedentary individuals had higher body mass index, greater waist circumference, and higher systolic blood pressure, with a significant upward trend in each tertile. Likewise, they had a worse lipid profile with a higher C-reactive protein level, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance index, triglyceride/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio, and insulin concentration. In the multivariate analysis, we observed a significant association between the latter parameters and sitting time in hours (log C-reactive protein [β = 0.07], log homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance index [β = 0.05], triglyceride/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio [β = 0.23], and insulin [β = 0.44]), which remained after adjustment for metabolic equivalents-h/week.

Conclusions: Workers who spend more time sitting show a worse inflammatory and insulin resistance profile independently of the physical activity performed.

Keywords: Cardiovascular risk; Inflamación; Inflammation; Insulin resistance; Resistencia a insulina; Riesgo cardiovascular; Sedentarismo; Sedentary lifestyle.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / epidemiology*
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sedentary Behavior*