Higher amounts of sedentary time are associated with short sleep duration and poor sleep quality in postmenopausal women

Seth A. Creasy, Tracy E. Crane, David O. Garcia, Cynthia A. Thomson, Lindsay N. Kohler, Betsy C. Wertheim, Laura D. Baker, MacE Coday, Lauren Hale, Catherine R. Womack, Kenneth P. Wright, Edward L. Melanson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Study Objectives: To evaluate the associations between sedentary time, total (total-PA), light (light-PA), moderate (MOD-PA), and vigorous (VIG-PA) physical activity with indices of sleep in postmenopausal women. Methods: Baseline self-reported data from the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study (n = 75 074) were used in this cross-sectional analysis. Total-PA, light-PA, MOD-PA, and VIG-PA were categorized by metabolic equivalents of the activity (MET-hour [hr]/week [wk]) and were estimated using validated questionnaires. Sedentary time was categorized by hr/day and was estimated via questionnaire. Logistic regression was used to examine the associations between these variables and short sleep (≤6 hr/night), long sleep (≥10 hr/night), poor sleep quality, and insomnia symptoms after adjustment for age, race, socioeconomic status, body mass index, health status, depressive symptoms, smoking status, alcohol use, hormone therapy, and comorbidities. Results: Higher sedentary time (>11 hr/day) was associated with higher odds of short sleep (odds ratio [OR] = 1.80, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.72-1.88), poor sleep quality (OR = 1.85, 95% CI: 1.74-1.97), and insomnia symptoms (OR = 1.56, 95% CI: 1.49-1.64). Light-PA (>0 MET-hr/wk) was associated with lower odds of short sleep (OR = 0.96, 95% CI: 0.92-1.00), and higher amounts of total-PA (OR = 0.90, 95% CI: 0.84-0.97), light-PA (OR = 0.94, 95% CI: 0.89-1.00), and MOD-PA (OR = 0.91, 95% CI: 0.86-0.97) were associated with lower odds of poor sleep quality. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that higher levels of light and moderate intensity physical activity are associated with better sleep quality, whereas higher amounts of sedentary time are associated with short sleep and lower quality sleep. Future studies should investigate the directionality of these associations and potential causal pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberzsz093
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2019


  • exercise
  • inactivity
  • physical activity
  • sitting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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