U.S. Adolescent Rest-Activity patterns: insights from functional principal component analysis (NHANES 2011-2014)

Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2023 Oct 13;20(1):125. doi: 10.1186/s12966-023-01520-3.


Background: Suboptimal rest-activity patterns in adolescence are associated with worse health outcomes in adulthood. Understanding sociodemographic factors associated with rest-activity rhythms may help identify subgroups who may benefit from interventions. This study aimed to investigate the association of rest-activity rhythm with demographic and socioeconomic characteristics in adolescents.

Methods: Using cross-sectional data from the nationally representative National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2011-2014 adolescents (N = 1814), this study derived rest-activity profiles from 7-day 24-hour accelerometer data using functional principal component analysis. Multiple linear regression was used to assess the association between participant characteristics and rest-activity profiles. Weekday and weekend specific analyses were performed in addition to the overall analysis.

Results: Four rest-activity rhythm profiles were identified, which explained a total of 82.7% of variance in the study sample, including (1) High amplitude profile; (2) Early activity window profile; (3) Early activity peak profile; and (4) Prolonged activity/reduced rest window profile. The rest-activity profiles were associated with subgroups of age, sex, race/ethnicity, and household income. On average, older age was associated with a lower value for the high amplitude and early activity window profiles, but a higher value for the early activity peak and prolonged activity/reduced rest window profiles. Compared to boys, girls had a higher value for the prolonged activity/reduced rest window profiles. When compared to Non-Hispanic White adolescents, Asian showed a lower value for the high amplitude profile, Mexican American group showed a higher value for the early activity window profile, and the Non-Hispanic Black group showed a higher value for the prolonged activity/reduced rest window profiles. Adolescents reported the lowest household income had the lowest average value for the early activity window profile.

Conclusions: This study characterized main rest-activity profiles among the US adolescents, and demonstrated that demographic and socioeconomic status factors may shape rest-activity behaviors in this population.

Keywords: Accelerometer; Adolescence; Circadian rhythm; Functional principal component analysis; NHANES; Rest-activity rhythm.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Ethnicity*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States