Research Study Abstract

Physical activity-related psychosocial correlates of sedentary behavior in adults

  • Presented on May 21, 2014

Purpose: Research has identified psychosocial factors that are consistent correlates of physical activity (PA). It is unknown whether these factors might also be related to less sedentary behavior (SB). Well-established psychosocial correlates of PA were examined to see if they related to sedentary behavior independent of PA.

Methods: Adults (n=2199) aged 20-65 (mean=45 years; 48% female; 26% ethnic minority) were recruited from neighborhoods that varied in “walkability” and income. Six PA-oriented psychosocial predictors were examined: Support from friends/family, self-efficacy, benefits, barriers, and enjoyment of PA. Sedentary outcomes included accelerometer-measured sedentary time (Actigraphs worn 7-days) and 3 self-reported leisure-time behaviors (television/video watching; time driving/ riding in a car; total sitting time during past week). Time spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) also was measured (accelerometer). Mixed linear regression analysis adjusted for study design factors, demographics, accelerometer wearing time, and minutes of MVPA to control for covariation between psychosocial factors and physical activity.

Results: Less sedentary time (accelerometer-measured) was strongly associated (p<.001) with higher perceived benefits and enjoyment of PA. Self-reported total sitting was related (p≤.019) to all six psychosocial scales (direction being more positive PA-orientation related to less sitting time). Less television/video watching was related (p≤.016) to social support from family and enjoyment of PA. Unexpectedly, PA-support from friends was related to more driving/riding time.

Conclusions: Further research, particularly through prospective studies, is needed to identify the roles of these psychosocial correlates as determinants and/or consequences of physical activity and sedentary behavior; such evidence may help to identify novel implications for intervention.