Review Article| Volume 57, ISSUE 3, P408-416, September 2019

Sitting Time and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis


      Whether physical activity attenuates the association of total daily sitting time with cardiovascular disease and diabetes incidence is unclear. This systematic review and meta-analysis examined the association of total daily sitting time with cardiovascular disease and diabetes with and without adjustment for physical activity.

      Evidence acquisition

      PubMed, Web of Science, BASE, MEDLINE, Academic Search Elite, and ScienceDirect were searched for prospective studies, published between January 1, 1989, and February 15, 2019, examining the association of total daily sitting time with cardiovascular disease or diabetes outcomes. Data extraction and study quality assessments were conducted by 2 independent reviewers. Pooled hazard ratios (HRs) were calculated using a fixed-effects model. The quality assessment and meta-analysis procedures were completed in 2018.

      Evidence synthesis

      Nine studies with 448,285 participants were included. A higher total daily sitting time was associated with a significantly increased risk of cardiovascular disease (HR=1.29, 95% CI=1.27, 1.30, p<0.001) and diabetes (HR=1.13, 95% CI=1.04, 1.22, p<0.001) incidence when not adjusted for physical activity. The increased risk for diabetes was unaffected when adjusting for physical activity (HR=1.11, 95% CI=1.01, 1.19, p<0.001). For cardiovascular disease, the increased risk was attenuated but remained significant (HR=1.14, 95% CI=1.04, 1.23, p<0.001).


      Higher levels of total daily sitting time are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, independent of physical activity. Reductions in total daily sitting may be recommended in public health guidelines.
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