Sedentary work and physiological markers of health

Brad Wipfli, Sara Wild, Courtney Donovan, Ginger C. Hanson, Saurabh S. Thosar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to examine associations between objectively measured workplace sedentary behavior and physiological markers of health. We hypothesize that increased sedentary time and more frequent bouts of uninterrupted sitting are associated with increased hemoglobin A1c, increased blood pressure, and impaired endothelial function. Call center employees (N = 241) were enrolled from four worksites in the United States. Participants completed a survey and a physical health assessment. Sedentary behavior and sitting/standing time at work were quantified using an accelerometer. Hemoglobin A1c was measured using a finger-prick and portable analyzer. Blood pressure was measured with an automated cuff, and vascular endothelial function was assessed in a subsample of participants (n = 56) using EndoPAT. We analyzed data with two series of ordinary least squares regressions, first to examine relationships between bouts of uninterrupted sitting and physiological outcomes, and second to examine relationships between physical activity and sitting/standing time at work and physiological outcomes. The sample was primarily female, and on average was obese, prehypertensive, and prediabetic. There were no significant relationships between bouts of uninterrupted sitting or physical activity/sitting/standing time at work and physiological outcomes. In a sample that is predominantly sedentary, at risk for cardiovascular disease, and prediabetic, there are no significant associations between workplace sedentary behavior and physiological markers. The lack of associations could be related to either physiological adaptations or ceiling effects in this sample.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3230
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume18
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2 2021

Keywords

  • Endothelial function
  • Hemoglobin A1c
  • Occupational health
  • Sedentary behavior
  • Uninterrupted sitting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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