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Open Access Research

Biological, socio-demographic, work and lifestyle determinants of sitting in young adult women: a prospective cohort study

Léonie Uijtdewilligen1, Jos WR Twisk23, Amika S Singh1, Mai JM Chinapaw1, Willem van Mechelen14 and Wendy J Brown4*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Public and Occupational Health, EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

2 Department of Health Sciences, Section Methodology and Applied Biostatistics, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

3 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

4 The University of Queensland, School of Human Movement Studies Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

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International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2014, 11:7  doi:10.1186/1479-5868-11-7

Published: 24 January 2014

Abstract

Background

Sitting is associated with health risks. Factors that influence sitting are however not well understood. The aim was to examine the biological, socio-demographic, work-related and lifestyle determinants of sitting time (including during transport, work and leisure) in young adult Australian women.

Methods

Self-reported data from 11,676 participants (aged 22–27 years in 2000) in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health were collected over 9 years in 2000, 2003, 2006 and 2009. Generalised Estimating Equations were used to examine univariable and multivariable associations of body mass index (BMI), country of birth, area of residence, education, marital status, number of children, occupational status, working hours, physical activity, smoking, alcohol intake and stress with week- and weekend-day sitting time.

Results

Compared with women in the respective referent categories, (1) women with higher BMI, those born in Asia, those with less than University level education, doing white collar work, working 41–48 hours a week, current smokers, non, rare or risky/high risk drinkers and those being somewhat stressed had significantly higher sitting time; and (2) women living in rural and remote areas, partnered women, those with children, those without a paid job and blue collar workers, those working less than 34 hours a week, and active women had significantly lower sitting time.

Conclusions

Among young adult Australian women, those with higher BMI, those born in Asia, those with higher level occupations and long working hours, were most at risk of higher sitting time. These results can be used to identify at-risk groups and inform intervention development.

Keywords:
Epidemiology; Prospective studies; Sedentary lifestyle; Women’s health