Rest-activity rhythms in emerging adults: implications for cardiometabolic health

Elissa K. Hoopes, Melissa A. Witman, Michele N. D’Agata, Felicia R. Berube, Benjamin Brewer, Susan K. Malone, Michael A. Grandner, Freda Patterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Emerging adulthood (18–25 years) represents a window of opportunity to modify the trajectory of cardiometabolic disease risk into older adulthood. Not known is the extent to which rest-activity rhythms (RAR) may be related to biomarkers of cardiometabolic health in this population. In this cross-sectional, observational study, 52 healthy emerging adults wore wrist accelerometers (14 consecutive days; 24 h/day) for assessment of nonparametric RAR metrics, including interdaily stability (IS; day-to-day RAR consistency), intradaily variability (IV; within-day RAR fragmentation), and relative amplitude (RA; robustness of RAR), as well as autocorrelation (correlation of rest/activity levels at 24-h lag-times). Cardiometabolic biomarkers, including body mass index (BMI), body fat percentage, blood pressure (BP), fasting lipids, glucose, and C-reactive protein (CRP) were assessed. Additional measures including physical activity, sleep duration, and habitual caffeine and alcohol consumption were also evaluated. A series of multivariable regression models of cardiometabolic biomarkers were used to quantify associations with RAR metrics. On average, participants were 20 ± 1 years of age (21 males, 31 females), non-obese, and non-hypertensive. All were nonsmokers and free of major diseases or conditions. In separate models, which adjusted for sex, BMI, moderate-vigorous physical activity, sleep duration, caffeine, and alcohol consumption, IS was inversely associated with total cholesterol (p ≤ 0.01) and non-HDL cholesterol (p < .05), IV was positively associated with CRP (p < .05), and autocorrelation was inversely associated with total cholesterol (p < .05) and CRP (p < .05). Conversely, associations between RA and cardiometabolic biomarkers were nonsignificant after adjustment for BMI, alcohol, and caffeine consumption. In conclusion, RAR metrics, namely, a higher IS, lower IV, and higher autocorrelation, emerged as novel biomarkers associated with more favorable indices of cardiometabolic health in this sample of apparently healthy emerging adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)543-556
Number of pages14
JournalChronobiology International
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021


  • Emerging adults
  • actigraphy
  • body activity 24-h rhythm
  • cardiometabolic risk
  • interdaily stability
  • intradaily variability
  • relative amplitude

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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