Sleep Duration, Activity Levels, and Measures of Obesity in Adults

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The purpose of this study was to investigate sleep and activity as they relate to obesity measures of body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC) in adults. Findings from recent studies have linked physical inactivity and short sleep with obesity.

Design and Sample:

A total of 337 subjects were collected from the 2009–2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).


The sample was evaluated to determine if a relationship existed between sleep duration, activity levels, and measures of obesity.


Pearson r correlation revealed a significant positive relationship between WC and sedentary activity, r(318) = .168, p = .003. Analysis also showed a significant inverse association between sleep duration and WC, r(319) = −.113, p = .043. No statistical significance was found using BMI as the measure of obesity in relation to duration of sleep or activity level.


In support of recent literature, this study found duration of sleep and sedentary activity in adults may relate to the development of obesity as measured by WC.

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