Dynamic sitting: Measurement and associations with metabolic health

Julianne D. van der Berg, Coen D. A. Stehouwer, Hans Bosma, Paolo Caserotti, Gudny Eiriksdottir, Nanna Y. Arnardottir, Dane R. Van Domelen, Robert J. Brychta, Kong Y. Chen, Thorarinn Sveinsson, Erlingur Johannsson, Lenore J. Launer, Vilmundur Gudnason, Palmi V. Jonsson, Tamara B. Harris, Annemarie Koster*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Dynamic sitting, such as fidgeting and desk work, might be associated with health, but remains difficult to identify out of accelerometry data. We examined, in a laboratory study, whether dynamic sitting can be identified out of triaxial activity counts. Among 18 participants (56% men, 27.3 +/- 6.5 years), up to 236 counts per minute were recorded in the anteroposterior and mediolateral axes during dynamic sitting using a hip-worn accelerometer. Subsequently, we examined in 621 participants (38% men, 80.0 +/- 4.7 years) from the AGES-Reykjavik Study whether dynamic sitting was associated with cardio-metabolic health. Compared to participants who recorded the fewest dynamic sitting minutes (Q(1)), those with more dynamic sitting minutes had a lower BMI (Q(2) = -1.39 (95%CI = -2.33;-0.46); Q(3) = -1.87 (-2.82;-0.92); Q(4) = -3.38 (-4.32;-2.45)), a smaller waist circumference (Q(2) = -2.95 (-5.44;-0.46); Q(3) = -3.47 (-6.01;-0.93); Q(4) = -8.21 (-10.72;-5.71)), and a lower odds for the metabolic syndrome (Q(2) = 0.74 [0.45;1.20] Q(3) = 0.58 [0.36;0.95]; Q(4) = 0.36 [0.22;0.59]). Our findings suggest that dynamic sitting might be identified using accelerometry and that this behaviour was associated with health. This might be important given the large amounts of time people spend sitting. Future studies with a focus on validation, causation and physiological pathways are needed to further examine the possible relevance of dynamic sitting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1746-1754
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 3 Aug 2019


  • Dynamic sitting
  • sedentary behaviour
  • metabolic syndrome
  • BMI
  • accelerometry
  • TIME
  • AGE


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