Adult total wellness: group differences based on sitting time and physical activity level

Barwais, Faisal, Cuddihy, Tom, & Tomson, Michaud (2014) Adult total wellness: group differences based on sitting time and physical activity level. BMC Public Health, 14, pp. 1-8.

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An increasing body of evidence associates a high level of sitting time with poor health outcomes. The benefits of moderate to vigorous-intensity physical activities to various aspects of health are now well documented; however, individuals may engage in moderate-intensity physical activity for at least 30 minutes on five or more days of the week and still exhibit a high level of sitting time. This purpose of this study was to examine differences in total wellness among adults relative to high/low levels of sitting time combined with insufficient/sufficient physical activity (PA). The construct of total wellness incorporates a holistic approach to the body, mind and spirit components of life, an approach which may be more encompassing than some definitions of health.


Data were obtained from 226 adult respondents (27 ± 6 years), including 116 (51%) males and 110 (49%) females. Total PA and total sitting time were assessed with the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) (short-version). The Wellness Evaluation of Lifestyle Inventory was used to assess total wellness. An analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was utilised to assess the effects of the sitting time/physical activity group on total wellness. A covariate was included to partial out the effects of age, sex and work status (student or employed). Cross-tabulations were used to show associations between the IPAQ derived high/low levels of sitting time with insufficient/sufficient PA and the three total wellness groups (i.e. high level of wellness, moderate wellness and wellness development needed).


The majority of the participants were located in the high total sitting time and sufficient PA group. There were statistical differences among the IPAQ groups for total wellness [F (2,220) = 32.5 (p <0.001)]. A Chi-square test revealed a significant difference in the distribution of the IPAQ categories within the classification of wellness [χ2 (N = 226) = 54.5, p < .001]. One-hundred percent (100%) of participants who self-rated as high total sitting time/insufficient PA were found in the wellness development needed group. In contrast, 72% of participants who were located in the low total sitting time/sufficient PA group were situated in the moderate wellness group.


Many participants who meet the physical activity guidelines, in this sample, sit for longer periods of time than the median Australian sitting time. An understanding of the effects of the enhanced PA and reduced sitting time on total wellness can add to the development of public health initiatives. Keywords: IPAQ; The Wellness Evaluation of Lifestyle (WEL); Sedentary lifestyle

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ID Code: 88663
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: IPAQ, The Wellness Evaluation of Lifestyle (WEL), Sedentary lifestyle
DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-14-234
ISSN: 1471-2458
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: © 2014 Barwais et al
Deposited On: 03 Nov 2015 00:00
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2016 06:17

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