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The Clustering of Lifestyle Behaviours in New Zealand and their Relationship with Optimal Wellbeing

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research was to determine (1) associations between multiple lifestyle behaviours and optimal wellbeing and (2) the extent to which five lifestyle behaviours—sleep, physical activity, sedentary behaviour, sugary drink consumption, and fruit and vegetable intake—cluster in a national sample.

Method

A national sample of New Zealand adults participated in a web-based wellbeing survey. Five lifestyle behaviours—sleep, physical activity, sedentary behaviour, sugary drink consumption, and fruit and vegetable intake—were dichotomised into healthy (meets recommendations) and unhealthy (does not meet recommendations) categories. Optimal wellbeing was calculated using a multi-dimensional flourishing scale, and binary logistic regression analysis was used to calculate the relationship between multiple healthy behaviours and optimal wellbeing. Clustering was examined by comparing the observed and expected prevalence rates (O/E) of healthy and unhealthy two-, three-, four-, and five-behaviour combinations.

Results

Data from 9425 participants show those engaging in four to five healthy behaviours (23 %) were 4.7 (95 % confidence interval (CI) 3.8–5.7) times more likely to achieve optimal wellbeing compared to those engaging in zero to one healthy behaviour (21 %). Clustering was observed for healthy (5 %, O/E 2.0, 95 % CI 1.8–2.2) and unhealthy (5 %, O/E 2.1, 95 % CI 1.9–2.3) five-behaviour combinations and for four- and three-behaviour combinations. At the two-behaviour level, healthy fruit and vegetable intake clustered with all behaviours, except sleep which did not cluster with any behaviour.

Conclusion

Multiple lifestyle behaviours were positively associated with optimal wellbeing. The results show lifestyle behaviours cluster, providing support for multiple behaviour lifestyle-based interventions for optimising wellbeing.

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to acknowledge Sovereign’s ongoing support as the funder of this research. KP was supported by a Sovereign Wellbeing Index Doctoral Scholarship.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Kate B. Prendergast.

Ethics declarations

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Ethical approval to conduct the study was granted by the Auckland University of Technology Ethics Committee (AUTEC 12/201).

Funding

This study was funded by Sovereign. KP was supported by a Sovereign Wellbeing Index Doctoral Scholarship.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Prendergast, K.B., Mackay, L.M. & Schofield, G.M. The Clustering of Lifestyle Behaviours in New Zealand and their Relationship with Optimal Wellbeing. Int.J. Behav. Med. 23, 571–579 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12529-016-9552-0

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Keywords

  • Lifestyle behaviours
  • Wellbeing
  • Positive health
  • Flourishing