Longitudinal association of leisure time physical activity and sedentary behaviors with body weight among Chinese adults from China Health and Nutrition Survey 2004–2011

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Present study aims to longitudinally explore independent association of physical activity and sedentary behaviors with body weight.


This study included 15050 adults who have complete demographic and dietary data, leisure time physical activity (LTPA) and sedentary behavior evaluations, anthropometric measurements from longitudinal data of China Health and Nutrition Survey 2004-2011. Three-level mixed-effects linear and logistic regression models were performed for association analysis.


Overweight and obesity prevalence in men and women progressively increased from 2004 to 2011. MET-h/week from LTPA declined, whereas time (h/day) spent in sedentary behaviors increased in men and women over 7 years. After adjustment for confounders, LTPA (MET-h/week) was linked with weight gain for moderate (β = 0.43, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.16-0.60, P < 0.01) and low (β = 0.52, 95% CI: 0.23-0.81, P < 0.01) versus high LTPA in men; weight was increased by 0.7 kg (95% CI: 0.44-0.93, P < 0.001) and 0.4 kg (95% CI: 0.12-0.68, P < 0.01) among men and women without LTPA, respectively, compared with those with high LTPA. Sedentary behavior was associated with weight gain in men (β = 0.45, 95% CI: 0.14-0.76, P < 0.01) and in women (β = 0.29, 95% CI: 0.11-0.49, P < 0.05) for high versus low level. Moreover, overweight and obesity risk in men with low LTPA or without LTPA was 1.88 (95% CI: 1.15-2.51, P < 0.05) and 2.01 (95% CI: 1.41-3.03, P < 0.001) times higher than those with high LTPA, respectively. Odds of overweight and obesity were increased to 1.63 (95% CI: 1.29-2.21, P < 0.01) times in women with low LTPA and 1.69 (95% CI: 1.37-2.27, P < 0.001) times in women without LTPA compared with those with high LTPA. High level sedentary behavior was associated with 19% (OR = 1.19, 95% CI: 1.04-1.35, P < 0.05) greater odds of overweight and obesity against low level in men.


LTPA and sedentary behaviors are independently and longitudinally associated with overweight and obesity, especially in men.

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