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Comparison of Self-Reported Week-Day and Weekend-Day Sitting Time and Weekly Time-Use: Results from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health



The study of sedentary behavior is a relatively new area in population health research, and little is known about patterns of sitting time on week-days and weekend-days.


To compare self-reported week-day and weekend-day sitting time with reported weekly time spent in other activities.


Data were from 8,717 women born between 1973 and 1978 (‘younger’), and 10,490 women born between 1946 and 1951 (‘mid-age’) who completed surveys for the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health in 2003 and 2001, respectively. They were asked about time spent sitting on week-days and weekend-days. The women were also asked to report time spent in employment, active leisure, passive leisure, home duties, and studying. Mean week-day and weekend-day sitting times were compared with time-use using analysis of variance.


Younger women sat more than mid-aged women, and sitting time was higher on week-days than on weekend-days in both cohorts. There were marked positive associations between week-day and weekend-day sitting times and time spent in passive leisure in both cohorts, and with time spent studying on week-days for the younger women. Week-day sitting time was markedly higher in women who reported >35 h in employment, compared with those who worked <35 h. In contrast, there were inverse associations between sitting time and time spent in home duties. Associations between sitting and active leisure were less consistent.


Although week-day sitting time was higher than weekend-day sitting time, the patterns of the relationships between week-day and weekend-day sitting and time-use were largely similar, except for time spent in employment.

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The Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health (ALSWH), which was conceived and developed by groups of interdisciplinary researchers at the Universities of Newcastle and Queensland, is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing. The funding source had no involvement in the research presented in this manuscript.

Jull was supported by an (Australian) National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) program grant (#301200).

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Correspondence to Jannique G. Z. van Uffelen.



Table 2 Overview of the numbers and proportions of sitting time data which were recoded or excluded, and the final numbers of women included in the analysis
Table 3 Mean week-day and weekend-day sitting time (SE) by time-use categories for women in the younger and mid-age cohortsa

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van Uffelen, J.G.Z., Watson, M.J., Dobson, A.J. et al. Comparison of Self-Reported Week-Day and Weekend-Day Sitting Time and Weekly Time-Use: Results from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health. Int.J. Behav. Med. 18, 221–228 (2011).

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