Academic Schedule and Day-to-Day Variations in Sedentary Behavior and Physical Activity of University Students

H Q Chim*, Mirjam G A Oude Egbrink, Pascal W M Van Gerven, Renate H M de Groot, Bjorn Winkens, Hans H C M Savelberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Students starting at university tend to adopt unhealthy behaviors. With students expected to sit during classes, their academic schedule may be responsible for their activity patterns. The aim of the current study was to investigate the relationship between university students' academic schedule and day-to-day variations in sedentary behavior (SB) and physical activity (PA). The activity of 317 first-year undergraduate students (mean age 19.6 ± 1.4 years, 69.4% female, 30.0% male, and 0.6% other) was measured with the activPAL3™ triaxial monitor for seven consecutive days. Each class hour was found to be associated with 9.0 additional minutes of SB (95% CI [4.9, 13.1]), 54 additional seconds of moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA; 95% CI [12, 96]), and 12.2 min less time in bed (95% CI [-16.6, -7.8]). Active SB ratio (total duration of SB bouts < 30 min divided by total SB duration) decreased by 0.011 per hour of class scheduled for the students (95% CI [-0.016, -0.006]). Light PA (LPA) was not significantly associated with class duration. Students tend to cycle more on days with classes. Seated transportation was not significantly related to whether the students had classes or not. Overall, the academic schedule is associated with SB and PA in students.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2810
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 19 Apr 2020


  • TIME
  • activity monitoring
  • education
  • lifestyle

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