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Obesity (Silver Spring). 2007 Jun;15(6):1578-88.

Sedentary behavior, recreational physical activity, and 7-year weight gain among postmenopausal U.S. women.

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  • 1Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity, 4770 Buford Highway NE, MS K-26, Atlanta, GA 30341-3717, USA.



To assess the relationship among recreational physical activity (PA), non-occupational sedentary behavior, and 7-year weight gain among postmenopausal U.S. women 40 to 69 years old.


In 1992 and 1999, 18,583 healthy female participants from the Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort completed questionnaires on anthropometric characteristics and lifestyle factors. The associations between recreational PA [in metabolic equivalent (MET) hours per week] and non-occupational sedentary behavior (in hours per day) at baseline and risk for 7-year weight gain (5 to 9 or >or =10 vs. +/-4 pounds) were assessed using multivariate logistic regression analysis.


Neither PA nor sedentary behavior was associated with a 5- to 9-pound weight gain. Among women who were not overweight at baseline (BMI <25.0), the odds of > or =10-pound weight gain were 12% lower (odds ratio, 0.88; 95% confidence interval, 0.77 to 0.99) for those in the highest category of recreational PA (> or =18 MET h/wk) compared with >0 to <4 MET h/wk; odds were 47% higher (odds ratio, 1.47; 95% confidence interval, 1.21 to 1.79) for non-overweight women who reported > or =6 h/d of non-occupational sedentary behavior compared with <3 h/d. Neither PA nor sedentary behavior were associated with risk of > or =10-pound weight gain weight among women who were overweight at baseline (BMI > or =25.0).


Both recreational PA and non-occupational sedentary behavior independently predicted risk of > or =10-pound weight gain among postmenopausal women who were not overweight at baseline. Public health messages to prevent weight gain among normal-weight postmenopausal women may need to focus on decreasing time spent in sedentary behaviors and increasing the amount of time spent on PA.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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