Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

Living Edition
| Editors: Marc Gellman

Sedentary Behaviors

  • Yori GidronEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6439-6_1540-2



Sedentary behaviors are an increasingly common problem worldwide, with important health consequences. These behaviors include long durations of sitting in front of the TV or the computer, playing computer or TV games, and a general lack of peripheral limb movements. These behaviors have risen due to a multitude of reasons including technological advancements, greater dependence on transportation, urbanization and hence smaller distances to work or schools spent walking, the omnipresence of TV and computers, and our dependence on such means for information, work, leisure, and communication. Various measures and scales exist to assess sedentary behaviors, and these depend on the type of behaviors assessed, the time frame the questions refer to (days, weeks, etc.), and the response format (e.g., a Likert scale or hours). This variability in assessment and use of different cutoffs could of course impact on the prevalence of sedentary behaviors...


Waist Circumference Mental Health Problem Physical Exercise Sedentary Behavior Physical Activity Level 
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References and Further Readings

  1. de Wit, L., van Straten, A., Lamers, F., Cuijpers, P., & Penninx, B. (2011). Are sedentary television watching and computer use behaviors associated with anxiety and depressive disorders? Psychiatry Research, 186, 239–243.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Healy, G. N., Dunstan, D. W., Salmon, J., Cerin, E., Shaw, J. E., Zimmet, P. Z., et al. (2008). Breaks in sedentary time: Beneficial associations with metabolic risk. Diabetes Care, 31, 661–666.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Hoang, T. D., Reis, J., Zhu, N., Jacobs, D. R., Jr., Launer, L. J., Whitmer, R. A., Sidney, S., & Yaffe, K. (2016). Effect of early adult patterns of physical activity and television viewing on midlife cognitive function. Journal of the American Medical Association – Psychiatry, 73, 73–79.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Owen, N., Healy, G. N., Matthews, C. E., & Dunstan, D. W. (2010). Too much sitting: The population health science of sedentary behavior. Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews, 38, 105–113.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  5. Warren, T. Y., Barry, V., Hooker, S. P., Sui, X., Church, T. S., & Blair, S. N. (2010). Sedentary behaviors increase risk of cardiovascular disease mortality in men. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 42, 879–885.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Medicine and PharmacyFree University of Brussels (VUB)JetteBelgium