Associations of Activity and Sleep With Quality of Life: A Compositional Data Analysis


      Associations between time spent on physical activity, sedentary behavior, and sleep and quality of life are usually studied without considering that their combined time is fixed. This study investigates the reallocation of time spent on physical activity, sedentary behavior, and sleep during the 24-hour day and their associations with quality of life.


      Data from the 2011–2016 Rotterdam Study were used to perform this cross-sectional analysis among 1,934 participants aged 51–94 years. Time spent in activity levels (sedentary, light-intensity physical activity, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, and sleep) were objectively measured with a wrist-worn accelerometer combined with a sleep diary. Quality of life was measured using the EuroQoL 5D-3L questionnaire. The compositional isotemporal substitution method was used in 2018 to examine the association between the distribution of time spent in different activity behaviors and quality of life.


      Reallocation of 30 minutes from sedentary behavior, light-intensity physical activity, or sleep to moderate-to-vigorous physical activity was associated with a higher quality of life, whereas reallocation from moderate-to-vigorous physical activity to sedentary behavior, light-intensity physical activity, or sleep was associated with lower quality of life. To illustrate this, a reallocation of 30 minutes from sedentary behavior to moderate-to-vigorous physical activity was associated with a 3% (95% CI=2, 4) higher quality of life score. By contrast, a reallocation of 30 minutes from moderate-to-vigorous physical activity to sedentary behavior was associated with a 4% (95% CI=2, 6) lower quality of life score.


      Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity is important with regard to the quality of life of middle-aged and elderly individuals. The benefits of preventing less time spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity were greater than the benefits of more time spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. These results could shift the attention to interventions focused on preventing reductions in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity levels. Further longitudinal studies are needed to confirm these findings and explore causality.
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