study was partly supported by the Swiss
National Fund for Scientific Research Grant no.32-37986.93.
and Prevalence of Sedentarism in an Urban Population.
MS Bernstein, A Morabia, D Sloutskis
Am J Public Health 1999; 89:862-67.
The present study sought to formulate a precise definition
of sedentarism and to identify activities performed by active
people that could serve as effective preventive goals.
Methods. A population-based sample of 919 men and women,
residents of Geneva, Switzerland, 35 to 74 years old, complited
a telephone 24-hour recall. Sedentary people were defined as those
expending less than 10% of their daily energy expenditure in the
performance of moderate- and high-intensity activities (at least
4 times the basal metabolism rate; e.g., brisk walking).
Results. The rates of sedentarism was 79.5% in men and
87.3% in women. Among sedentary and active men, average daily
energy expenditure was 2600 kcal (confidence interval: 2553-2650)
and 3226 kcal (3103-3339) repectively; the corresponding average
for women were 2092 kcal (2064-2120) and 2356 kcal (2274-2440).
The main moderate- and high-intensity activities of active people
were sports (tennis, gymnastics, skiing), walking, climbing stairs,
gardening, and (for men only) occupational activities.
Conclusions. The definition of sedentarismoutlined in this
article can be reproduced in other populations, allows comparisons
across studies and provides preventive guidelines since the activities
most frequently performed by active people may be the most likely
to be adopted by sedentary peers.
poster was presented at the annual Meeting of Epidemiologic
Research, Chicago, June 24-26 1998.