Physical activity, sleep, and sedentary behavior among successful long-term weight loss maintainers: Findings from a U.S. national study

Academic Article


  • Despite adults’ desire to reduce body mass (weight) for numerous health benefits, few are able to successfully lose at least 5% of their starting weight. There is evidence on the independent associations of physical activity, sedentary behaviors, and sleep with weight loss; however, this study provided insight on the combined effects of these behaviors on long-term body weight loss success. Hence, the purpose of this cross-sectional study was to evaluate the joint relations of sleep, physical activity, and sedentary behaviors with successful long-term weight loss. Data are from the 2005–2006 wave of the National Health and Examination Survey (NHANES). Physical activity and sedentary behavior were measured with an accelerometer, whereas sleep time was self-reported. Physical activity and sleep were dichotomized into meeting guidelines (active/not active, ideal sleep/short sleep), and sedentary time was categorized into prolonged sedentary time (4th quartile) compared to low sedentary time (1st–3rd quartiles). The dichotomized behaviors were combined to form 12 unique behavioral combinations. Two-step multivariable regression models were used to determine the associations between the behavioral combinations with (1) long-term weight loss success (≥5% body mass reduction for ≥12-months) and (2) the amount of body mass reduction among those who were successful. After adjustment for relevant factors, there were no significant associations between any of the independent body weight loss behaviors (physical activity, sedentary time, and sleep) and successful long-term weight loss. However, after combining the behaviors, those who were active (≥150 min MVPA weekly), regardless of their sedentary time, were significantly (p < 0.05) more likely to have long-term weight loss success compared to the inactive and sedentary referent group. These results should be confirmed in longitudinal analyses, including investigation of characteristics of waking (type, domain, and context) and sleep (quality metrics) behaviors for their association with long-term weight loss success.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 16632647
  • Author List

  • Knell G; Li Q; Morales-Marroquin E; Drope J; Gabriel KP; Shuval K
  • Volume

  • 18
  • Issue

  • 11