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Jenkins, Gabrielle P.; Evenson, Kelly R.; Herring, Amy H.; Hales, Derek; & Stevens, June (2017). Cardiometabolic Correlates of Physical Activity and Sedentary Patterns in U.S. Youth. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 49(9), 1826-1833. PMCID: PMC5976486


INTRODUCTION: Daily or weekly averages of physical activity and sedentary behavior could mask patterns of behavior throughout the week that independently impact cardiovascular health. We examined associations between day-to-day physical activity and sedentary behavior latent classes and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors in US youth. METHODS: Data were from 3,984 youth ages 6-17y from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2003-2006) and from previously published accelerometry latent classes characterizing average counts/minute and percent of wear time in moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and sedentary behavior. Multiple linear regression was used to examine associations of the classes with waist circumference, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, high- and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose, and insulin. RESULTS: Participants spent 50.4% of the day in sedentary behavior and 5.3% of the day in MVPA. Average counts/minute were 516.4 over a 7-day period. Significant differences in CVD risk factors were between extreme classes with few differences observed in intermediate classes. Youth in latent class 4 (highest average counts/minute) had lower systolic blood pressure (-4.11 mmHg [-7.74, -0.55]), lower glucose (-4.25 mg/dL [-7.84, -0.66]), and lower insulin (-6.83 uU/mL [-8.66, -4.99]) compared to youth in class 1 (lowest average counts/minute). Waist circumference was lower for the least sedentary class (-2.54 cm [-4.90, -0.19]) compared to the most sedentary class. Some associations were attenuated when classes were adjusted for mean physical activity or sedentary level. CONCLUSIONS: There is some indication that patterns, in addition to the total amount of physical activity and sedentary behavior, may be important for cardiovascular health in youth. Longitudinal studies are needed to examine associations between physical activity and sedentary behavior patterns and changes in CVD risk factors.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise


Jenkins, Gabrielle P.
Evenson, Kelly R.
Herring, Amy H.
Hales, Derek
Stevens, June