Background: Physical activity, sedentary time and sleep have been shown to be associated with cardio-metabolic health. However, these associations are typically studied in isolation or without accounting for the effect of all movement behaviours and the constrained nature of data that comprise a finite whole such as a 24 h day. The aim of this study was to examine the associations between the composition of daily movement behaviours (including sleep, sedentary time (ST), light intensity physical activity (LIPA) and moderate-to-vigorous activity (MVPA)) and cardio-metabolic health, in a cross-sectional analysis of adults with pre-diabetes. Further, we quantified the predicted differences following reallocation of time between behaviours.
Methods: Accelerometers were used to quantify daily movement behaviours in 1462 adults from eight countries with a body mass index (BMI) ≥25 kg·m- 2, impaired fasting glucose (IFG; 5.6-6.9 mmol·l- 1) and/or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT; 7.8-11.0 mmol•l- 1 2 h following oral glucose tolerance test, OGTT). Compositional isotemporal substitution was used to estimate the association of reallocating time between behaviours.
Results: Replacing MVPA with any other behaviour around the mean composition was associated with a poorer cardio-metabolic risk profile. Conversely, when MVPA was increased, the relationships with cardiometabolic risk markers was favourable but with smaller predicted changes than when MVPA was replaced. Further, substituting ST with LIPA predicted improvements in cardio-metabolic risk markers, most notably insulin and HOMA-IR.
Conclusions: This is the first study to use compositional analysis of the 24 h movement composition in adults with overweight/obesity and pre-diabetes. These findings build on previous literature that suggest replacing ST with LIPA may produce metabolic benefits that contribute to the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, the asymmetry in the predicted change in risk markers following the reallocation of time to/from MVPA highlights the importance of maintaining existing levels of MVPA.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT01777893).
Keywords: Compositional analysis; Physical activity; Pre-diabetes; Sedentary time.