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Breaks in sedentary time are associated with cardiometabolic health markers in overweight adults

Session Poster Session 2

Speaker Tanja Sjoros

Event : ESC Preventive Cardiology (Formerly EuroPrevent) 2019

  • Topic : preventive cardiology
  • Sub-topic : Physical Inactivity and Exercise
  • Session type : Poster Session

Authors : T Sjoros (Turku,FI), H Vaha-Ypya (Tampere,FI), A Savolainen (Turku,FI), H Sievanen (Tampere,FI), T Vasankari (Tampere,FI), J Knuuti (Turku,FI), K Kalliokoski (Turku,FI), IHA Heinonen (Turku,FI)

T Sjoros1 , H Vaha-Ypya2 , A Savolainen1 , H Sievanen2 , T Vasankari2 , J Knuuti1 , K Kalliokoski1 , IHA Heinonen1 , 1Turku PET Centre - Turku - Finland , 2UKK Institute - Tampere - Finland ,



A low level of physical activity (PA) has been identified as an important predictor of poor health and all-cause mortality. Unfortunately, the majority of the world’s population do not meet the current guidelines for PA. However, an emerging evidence shows that not only moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) but also informal light physical activity (so called non-exercise activity), that replaces sedentary activities, likely also plays a role in health promotion. Recently, there has been a growing interest in objectively assessing sedentary behaviour (SB) instead of MVPA in the prevention of obesity and metabolic diseases.


We examined the associations between cardiometabolic health markers and SB and PA in an overweight (BMI 31.6, SD 4) working aged population (n = 98, 22 men; age 58, IQR 7) with high risk for metabolic syndrome and low self-reported PA levels. SB and PA were measured for 4 weeks (mean 25 days SD 4) with hip-worn accelerometers using validated mean amplitude deviation (MAD) and angle for postural estimation (APE) algorithms. Fasting plasma glucose, insulin, triglycerides, total, LDL and HDL cholesterol and HbA1c from venous blood samples were analysed using standard assays. Body mass index, waist circumference and blood pressure were measured prior to accelerometry. The associations were examined by Pearson’s correlation analysis adjusted for age and sex.


Our analysis shows no association between cardiometabolic health markers and sedentary time. MVPA was significantly associated with lower fasting insulin levels (r = -0.23, p = 0.027) and body mass (r = -0.24, p = 0.019) as well as smaller waist circumference (r = -0.22, p = 0.031). In consistency, daily step count was similarly associated with insulin (r= -0.26, p = 0.011), body mass (r = -0.32, p = 0.0015), waist (r = -0.27, p = 0.0083), and also BMI (r= -0.23, p=0.022). Breaks in sedentary time were associated with lower body mass (r= -0.24, p=0.021), BMI (r = -0.24, p = 0.020), smaller waist circumference (r = -0.32, p = 0.0015) and lower resting heart rate (r = -0.24, p = 0.021). Similarly, time spent standing was also associated with lower resting heart rate (r = -0.23, p = 0.027). Only light physical activity had associations with the lipid profile; light PA was associated with higher HDL-cholesterol (r = 0.26, p = 0.010).


In conclusion, it seems that in overweight adults at high risk for metabolic syndrome breaks in sedentary time are associated with cardiometabolic health indicators, whereas total sedentary time has no associations to any of the measured health markers. However, MVPA, light PA and daily steps were also associated to better metabolic health, overall suggesting that muscle activity is crucially important in cardiometabolic health promotion.

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