[Sedentary lifestyle is associated with metabolic and cardiovascular risk factors independent of physical activity]

Rev Med Chil. 2017 Apr;145(4):458-467. doi: 10.4067/S0034-98872017000400006.
[Article in Spanish]


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.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sedentary Behavior*
  • Waist Circumference
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers