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Evenson, Kelly R.; Wen, Fang; & Herring, Amy H. (2016). Associations of Accelerometry-Assessed and Self-Reported Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior with All-Cause and Cardiovascular Mortality among US Adults. American Journal of Epidemiology, 184(9), 621-632. PMCID: PMC5100839


The US physical activity (PA) recommendations were based primarily on studies in which self-reported data were used. Studies that include accelerometer-assessed PA and sedentary behavior can contribute to these recommendations. In the present study, we explored the associations of PA and sedentary behavior with all-cause and cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality in a nationally representative sample. Among the 2003-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey cohort, 3,809 adults 40 years of age or older wore an accelerometer for 1 week and self-reported their PA levels. Mortality data were verified through 2011, with an average of 6.7 years of follow-up. We used Cox proportional hazards models to obtain adjusted hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals. After excluding the first 2 years, there were 337 deaths (32% or 107 of which were attributable to CVD). Having higher accelerometer-assessed average counts per minute was associated with lower all-cause mortality risk: When compared with the first quartile, the adjusted hazard ratio was 0.37 (95% confidence interval: 0.23, 0.59) for the fourth quartile, 0.39 (95% confidence interval: 0.27, 0.57) for the third quartile, and 0.60 (95% confidence interval: 0.45, 0.80) second quartile. Results were similar for CVD mortality. Lower all-cause and CVD mortality risks were also generally observed for persons with higher accelerometer-assessed moderate and moderate-to-vigorous PA levels and for self-reported moderate-to-vigorous leisure, household and total activities, as well as for meeting PA recommendations. Accelerometer-assessed sedentary behavior was generally not associated with all-cause or CVD mortality in fully adjusted models. These findings support the national PA recommendations to reduce mortality.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

American Journal of Epidemiology


Evenson, Kelly R.
Wen, Fang
Herring, Amy H.