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, 33 (9), 811-829

Sedentary Behaviour and Risk of All-Cause, Cardiovascular and Cancer Mortality, and Incident Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review and Dose Response Meta-Analysis


Sedentary Behaviour and Risk of All-Cause, Cardiovascular and Cancer Mortality, and Incident Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review and Dose Response Meta-Analysis

Richard Patterson et al. Eur J Epidemiol.


Purpose: To estimate the strength and shape of the dose-response relationship between sedentary behaviour and all-cause, cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer mortality, and incident type 2 diabetes (T2D), adjusted for physical activity (PA). Data Sources: Pubmed, Web of Knowledge, Medline, Embase, Cochrane Library and Google Scholar (through September-2016); reference lists. Study Selection: Prospective studies reporting associations between total daily sedentary time or TV viewing time, and ≥ one outcome of interest. Data Extraction: Two independent reviewers extracted data, study quality was assessed; corresponding authors were approached where needed. Data Synthesis: Thirty-four studies (1,331,468 unique participants; good study quality) covering 8 exposure-outcome combinations were included. For total sedentary behaviour, the PA-adjusted relationship was non-linear for all-cause mortality (RR per 1 h/day: were 1.01 (1.00-1.01) ≤ 8 h/day; 1.04 (1.03-1.05) > 8 h/day of exposure), and for CVD mortality (1.01 (0.99-1.02) ≤ 6 h/day; 1.04 (1.03-1.04) > 6 h/day). The association was linear (1.01 (1.00-1.01)) with T2D and non-significant with cancer mortality. Stronger PA-adjusted associations were found for TV viewing (h/day); non-linear for all-cause mortality (1.03 (1.01-1.04) ≤ 3.5 h/day; 1.06 (1.05-1.08) > 3.5 h/day) and for CVD mortality (1.02 (0.99-1.04) ≤ 4 h/day; 1.08 (1.05-1.12) > 4 h/day). Associations with cancer mortality (1.03 (1.02-1.04)) and T2D were linear (1.09 (1.07-1.12)).

Conclusions: Independent of PA, total sitting and TV viewing time are associated with greater risk for several major chronic disease outcomes. For all-cause and CVD mortality, a threshold of 6-8 h/day of total sitting and 3-4 h/day of TV viewing was identified, above which the risk is increased.

Keywords: Diabetes; Meta-analysis; Mortality; Prevention; Public health; Sedentary.

Conflict of interest statement

Conflict of interest

All authors have completed the ICMJE uniform disclosure form at and declare: no support from any organisation for the submitted work; no financial relationships with any organisations that might have an interest in the submitted work in the previous three years; no other relationships or activities that could appear to have influenced the submitted work.

Human and animal rights

This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.


Fig. 1
Fig. 1
Flow diagram for study inclusion
Fig. 2
Fig. 2
Non-linear associations between sedentary behaviour and health outcomes presented with and without PA adjustment

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