The Impact of Sedentary Behavior on Well-being and Quality of Life

The Impact of Sedentary Behavior on Well-being and Quality of Life
Study: Associations between domains of sedentary behavior, well-being, and quality of life – a cross-sectional study

There are three other categories of sedentary behavior (SB): leisure, transportation, and employment. A recent study published in BMC Public Health examines the effects of various SB domains on an individual’s well-being and quality of life.

Investigating the effects of SB on health
Lowering SB is essential for preventing mortality and chronic illnesses. Additionally linked to a higher risk of anxiety, depression, and suicide ideation is excessive SB.

Given that SB can accrue in several ways, research on the relationship between these domains, mental health, and general quality of life is crucial. Research on the relationship between adult prevalence of SB, quality of life, and mental health is still lacking.

Significant variation is found in SB; working persons may have more commuting and working sedentary behavior (SB), while older adults (65 years and above) and younger adults (aged 18 to 24) may have more leisure SB. Therefore, current recommendations about SB and how these behaviors affect an individual’s health-related quality of life (HRQoL) should be improved by a greater knowledge of how various individual variables determine SB.

Concerning the study

The current study evaluated cross-sectional relationships between well-being and quality of life indicators and SB-specific domains, such as leisure, occupational, and transport-related SB. In a Portuguese institution, the researchers also looked into how these patterns varied between older and younger persons.

Online recruitment for the study took place in November 2021, and participants were asked to fill out a questionnaire. 584 people in all answered the questionnaire.

While distinct questions were created to capture the various categories of SB, the total amount of SB was determined using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ). An individual’s well-being was assessed using the mean of their “general life satisfaction” (GLS) and “psychological well-being” (PWB) measures, while their self-reported quality of life was gauged using the Short Form Survey (SF-12).

Study results

PWB was found to have a negative correlation with every category of SB, while GLS had a negative correlation with occupational and transport-related SB. In the unadjusted model, SB from leisure and work activities was adversely correlated with mental health.

With the exception of the ongoing inverse relationship between GLS and occupational SB, these correlations were diminished when variables were taken into account.

Because SB lowers physical activity (PA), fewer situations that contribute to poor well-being occur. This may be the result of biological mechanisms mediating the effect, such as the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in response to exercise. SB has also been connected to elderly adults’ and adolescents’ social isolation.

In young individuals, leisure-time SB was likewise adversely correlated with PWB; however, these correlations were not seen with other SB domains. This could be the result of lower PA, which is linked to higher PWB levels, and more leisure SB, which frequently goes hand in hand.

Additionally, younger folks use social media extensively when seated in front of computer or smartphone screens. It has been demonstrated that excessive usage of social media has a negative impact on PWB; the consequences vary greatly depending on the how, why, and interactions one has on social media.

After controlling for covariate variables, GLS and mental health were adversely correlated with occupational SB in persons 25 years of age and older, while PWB and transport-related SB were negatively correlated with this age group.

Results relating to well-being and leisure time SB did not correspond. This observation can be explained by the fact that adult participants reported engaging in leisure activities for an average of 170 minutes per week, whereas young adults reported engaging in leisure activities for an average of 269 minutes per week.

In conclusion

The results of the study show that SB has a negative impact on people’s health and quality of life. However, more investigation is required to pinpoint the exact area where SB accumulation takes place.

The main advice given in current SB recommendations is to sit less and spend less time in front of devices. These suggestions, meanwhile, could be improved with more domain-specific and age-specific study in this area.

While occupational SB was more hazardous to working-age individuals, leisure SB seems to be especially harmful for younger persons. Further experimental research is required to validate these findings.

For more information: Associations between domains of sedentary behavior, well-being, and quality of life – a cross-sectional study, BMC Public Health, doi:10.1186/s12889-024-19252-9

Driven by a deep passion for healthcare, Haritha is a dedicated medical content writer with a knack for transforming complex concepts into accessible, engaging narratives. With extensive writing experience, she brings a unique blend of expertise and creativity to every piece, empowering readers with valuable insights into the world of medicine.

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