Publication spotlight: “Physical Activity, Sleep, and Sedentary Behavior among Successful Long-Term Weight Loss Maintainers: Findings from a U.S. National Study”
Published: January 26, 2022
The publication “Physical Activity, Sleep, and Sedentary Behavior among Successful Long-Term Weight Loss Maintainers: Findings from a U.S. National Study” evaluated the relationship between sleep, physical activity, and sedentary behaviors with successful long-term weight loss. Center Faculty Dr. Gregory Knell led this study.
Physical activity, sleep, and sedentary time are three behaviors on the energy expenditure side of the weight loss equation. Each of these behaviors have been studied independently for associations with weight loss.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the association between combinations of physical activity, time spent sedentary, and sleep with successful long-term weight loss among U.S. adults.
This was a cross-sectional study and data were from the 2005–2006 National Health and Examination Survey (NHANES). Physical activity and sedentary behavior were measured with an accelerometer (research grade Fit Bit or Apple Watch), whereas sleep time was self-reported.
The researchers found there were no significant associations between weight loss and any of the weight loss behaviors (physical activity, sedentary time, and sleep) independently.
However, it was found that certain combinations of behaviors were associated with successfully maintaining long-term weight loss. Those who had low levels of sedentary time and some physical activity, and those who spend 2.5 hours or more physically active combined with some time spent sedentary, were significantly more likely to be successfully maintaining long-term weight loss compared to those who were inactive and had high levels of sedentary time.
For future studies, it will be helpful to determine the combined effect of these behaviors and diet on long-term weight loss success and maintenance. The authors also recommend that healthcare providers should continue to recommend and advise on strategies to engage in a healthy lifestyle that includes a physical activity component and nutrition plan for health benefits.