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Zhu, W. & Owen, N. (2017). Sedentary behavior and health. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

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Exploration of Daily Sit Time among University Athletes

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

Journal of Physical Activity Research. 2018, Vol. 3 No. 2, 118-124
DOI: 10.12691/jpar-3-2-9
Copyright © 2018 Science and Education Publishing

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.

Correspondence to: Adam  J. Swartzendruber, Sport & Exercise Science, Saint Joseph’s College of Maine, Standish, United States. Email:


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.