Background: Sedentary behavior is a main risk factor for cardiovascular disease and mortality.
Aim: To investigate the association between sedentary behavior and metabolic and cardiovascular risk factors.
Material and methods: We assessed 322 participants aged between 18 to 65 years. Physical activity and sedentary behavior were measured with accelerometers (Actigraph®). Body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, percentage of body fat, diet and blood markers (glucose, lipid profile, insulin and HOMA-IR) were measured with standardized protocols.
Results: Thirty four percent of participants were physically inactive and spent on average 8.7 h/day on sedentary activities. Per one hour increase in sedentary behavior there were significant adverse changes in glucose (4.79 mg/dl), insulin (2.73 pmol/l), HOMA-IR (0.75), BMI (0.69 kg/m²), waist circumference (1.95 cm), fat mass (1.03%), total cholesterol (9.73 mg/dl), HDL-cholesterol (-3.50 mg/dl), LDL-cholesterol (10.7 mg/dl) and triglycerides (12.4 mg/dl). These findings were independent of main confounding factors including total physical activity, dietary factors, BMI and socio-demographics.
Conclusions: The detrimental effect of sedentary behaviors on cardiometabolic and obesity-related traits is independent of physical activity levels. Therefore, reducing sedentary time should be targeted in the population apart from increasing their physical activity levels.