Journal of Physical Activity Research
ISSN (Print): 2576-1919 ISSN (Online): 2574-4437 Website: Editor-in-chief: Peter Hart
Open Access
Journal Browser
Journal of Physical Activity Research. 2018, 3(2), 118-124
DOI: 10.12691/jpar-3-2-9
Open AccessArticle

Exploration of Daily Sit Time among University Athletes

Adam J. Swartzendruber1,

1Sport & Exercise Science, Saint Joseph’s College of Maine, Standish, United States

Pub. Date: November 29, 2018

Cite this paper:
Adam J. Swartzendruber. Exploration of Daily Sit Time among University Athletes. Journal of Physical Activity Research. 2018; 3(2):118-124. doi: 10.12691/jpar-3-2-9


No studies have determined sit time, association between sit time and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA)/training time among college athletes, or differences between sexes among college athletes. Yet an independent relationship has been previously reported between MVPA and sedentary behavior, adiposity, as well as all-cause mortality and all-cause cardiovascular disease among active individuals, including recreational exercisers and professional athletes. Sit time data from 192 male and female full-time college athletes age 18-24 were collected from an electronic survey, the Multi-context Sit-Time Questionnaire (MSTQ). Mean sit times were analyzed for differences between total sit time on school days and non-school days, as well as differences between males and females. Correlation analysis was also completed to determine the relationship between exercise time and sit time. Final analysis of mean hours (from reported minutes) of total daily sit time for all participants was 10.47 ± 2.93 hours, 10.85 ± 2.70 hours for males, and 10.07 ± 3.15 hours for females. As a percentage of total time awake, the college athletes spent 61% of their waking hours sitting. Results showed no statistically significant difference in mean minutes of sitting between school days (M = 641.147, SD = 196.02) and non-school days (M = 613.8, SD = 201.51). There was no significant correlation between average total daily sit time and weekly exercise time, rs(70) = -0.196, p = 0.092. Next, there was no significant difference between average total daily sit time between males (M = 650.85, SD = 162.11) and females (M = 604.236, SD = 189.19), t(73) = 1.141, p = 0.258. The outcomes support previous studies that athletes can be both highly active and highly sedentary because exercise was independent of excessive sitting. Future research must focus on determining the prevalence of high total daily sit time among athlete populations, and whether athletes are at a high risk, similar to physically inactive individuals, because on average, college athletes sit as much or more than individuals defined as physically inactive.

sit time sedentary behavior physical activity physical inactivity athletes

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit


[1]  Biswas, A., Oh, P. I., Faulkner, G. E., Bajaj, R. R., Silver, M. A., Mitchell, M. S., & Alter, D. A. (2015). Sedentary time and its association with risk for disease incidence, mortality, and hospitalization in adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Annals of Internal Medicine, 162(2), 123-231.
[2]  Healy, G. N., Dunstan, D. W., Salmon, J., Shaw, J. E., Zimmet, P. Z., & Owen, N. (2008). Television time and continuous metabolic risk in physically active adults. Medicine & Science in Sport & Exercise, 40(4), 639-645.
[3]  Katzmarzyk, P. T., Church, T. S., Craig, C. L., & Bouchard, C. (2009). Sitting time and mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 41(5), 998-1005.
[4]  Owen, N., Healy, G. N., Matthews, C. E., & Dunstand, D. W. (2010). Too much sitting: The population-health science of sedentary behavior. Exercise and Sports Science Reviews, 38(3), 105-113.
[5]  Peterson, M. D., Sarma, A. V., & Gordon, P. M. (2012). Sitting time and all-cause mortality risk. Archives of Internal Medicine, 172(16), 1270-1272.
[6]  Whitfield, G., Pettee Gabriel, K.K., & Kohl, H.W. (2014). Sedentary and active: Self-reported sitting time among marathon and half-marathon participants. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 11(1), 165-172.
[7]  Judice, P. B., Silva, A. M., Magalhaes, J. P., Matias, C. N., & Sardinha, L. B. (2014). Sedentary behaviour and adiposity in elite athletes. Journal of Sports Sciences, 32(19), 1760-1767.
[8]  Pate, R. R., O’Neill, J. R., & Lobelo, F. (2008). The evolving definition of “sedentary”. Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews, 36(4), 173-178.
[9]  Carson, V., Staiano, A. E., & Katzmarzyk, P. T. (2015). Physical activity, screen time, and sitting among US adolescents. Pediatric Exercise Science, 27(1), 151-159.
[10]  Dunstan, D. W., Salmon, J., Owen, N., Armstrong, T., Zimmet, P. Z., Welborn, T. A., … Shaw, J. E. (2004). Physical activity and television viewing in relation to risk of undiagnosed abnormal glucose metabolism in adults. Diabetes Care, 27(11), 2603-2609.
[11]  Hamilton, M. T., Healy, G. N., Dunstan, D. W., Zderic, T. W., & Owen, N. (2008). Too little exercise and too much sitting: Inactivity physiology and the need for new recommendations on sedentary behavior. Current Cardiovascular Risk Reports, 2(4), 292-298.
[12]  Pescatello, L. S. (2014). ACSM’s Guidelines for exercise testing and prescription (9th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer.
[13]  Hawari, N. A., Al-Shay, J, I., Wilson, J., & Gill, J. R. (2016). Frequency of breaks in sedentary time and postprandial metabolic responses. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 48(12), 2495-2502.
[14]  Mansoubi, M., Pearson, N., Clemes, S. A., Biddle, S. J., Bodicoat, D. H., Tolfrey, K., … Yates, T. (2015). Energy expenditure during common sitting and standing tasks: examining the 1.5 MET definition of sedentary behaviour. BMC Public Health, 15, 516.
[15]  Lin, T., Courtney, T. K., Lombardi, D. A., & Verma, S. K. (2015). Association between sedentary work and BMI in a U.S. national longitudinal survey. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 49(6), 117-123.
[16]  Whitfield, G., Pettee Gabriel, K. K., & Kohl. H.W. (2013). Assessing sitting across contexts: Development of the multicontext sitting time questionnaire. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 84(3), 323-328.
[17]  Zhu, W. & Owen, N. (2017). Sedentary behavior and health. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
[18]  Chau, J. Y., Grunseit, A. C., Chey, T., Stamatakis, E., Brown, W. J., Matthews, C. E., …van der Ploeg, H. P. (2013). Daily sitting time and all-cause mortality: A meta-analysis. Plos One, 8(11), e80000.
[19]  Ekelund, U., Steene-Johannessen, J. Brown, W.J., Fagerland, M. W., Owen, N., Powell, K. E., … Lee, I. (2016). Does physical activity attenuate, or even eliminate, the detrimental association of sitting time with mortality? A harmonized meta-analysis of data from more than 1 million men and women. The Lancet, 388, 1302-1310.
[20]  U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014). 2015 behavioral risk factor surveillance system questionnaire [PDF]. Retrieved from
[21]  Koo, T. K., & Li, M. Y. (2016). A guideline of selecting and reporting intraclass correlation coefficients for reliability research. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, 15(2), 155-163.
[22]  Bouchard, C., Blair, S. N., & Katzmarzyk, P. T. (2015). Less sitting, more physical activity, or higher fitness? Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 90(11), 1533-1540.
[23]  Gibbs, B., B., Hergenroeder, A. L., Katzmarzyk, P. T., I-Min, L., & Jakicic, J. M. (2015) Definition, measurement, and health risks associated with sedentary behavior. Medicine & Science In Sports & Exercise, 47(6), 1295-1300.
[24]  Lee, I. M., Shiroma, E. J., Lobelo, F., Puska, P., Blair, S. N., & Katzmarzyk, P. T. (2012). Effect of physical inactivity on major non-communicable diseases worldwide: an analysis of burden of disease and life expectancy. Lancet, 380(9838), 219-229.
[25]  Koster, A., Caserotti, P., Patel, K. V., Matthews, C. E., Berrigan, D., Domelen, D. R., . . . Harris, T. B. (2012). Association of sedentary time with mortality independent of moderate to vigorous physical activity. PLoS ONE, 7(6).
[26]  Harrington, D. M., Barreira, T. V., Staiano, A. E., & Katzmarzyk, P. T. (2014). The descriptive epidemiology of sitting among US adults, NHANES 2009/2010. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 17, 371-375.