Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. in Health Promotion


Health, Exercise Science, and Recreation Management

First Advisor

Paul D. Loprinzi

Second Advisor

Toshikazu Ikuta

Third Advisor

Kofan Lee

Relational Format



An expansive body of literature has established the positive effects of physical activity on a number of health-related outcomes, including chronic disease prevention (both physiological and psychological). In addition to growing information regarding the benefits of physical activity, recent research has suggested the need to focus future studies on the effects of sedentary behavior (independent of physical activity) on one’s wellbeing. The majority of existing research on sedentary behavior, however, has used cross-sectional study designs. The few experimental studies on sedentary behavior have primarily focused on minimizing prolonged sedentary behavior among inactive individuals, rather than inducing sedentary behavior. We hypothesized that if indeed there is an independent causal relationship between prolonged sedentary behavior and worse health-related parameters, increasing sedentary behavior among ‘active’ individuals should similarly induce negative changes in these parameters. The purpose of this study was to build upon the existing body of sedentary behavior literature by examining the effects of a one-week sedentary behavior intervention (where sedentary behavior was increased) on cognitive function, sleep, and mental health conditions (anxiety, depression, mood and quality of life). Participants confirmed to be active (i.e., acquiring 150 min/week of physical activity) via self-report and accelerometry were randomly assigned into a sedentary behavior intervention group (n = 26) or a control group (n = 13). For one week, the intervention group eliminated exercise and minimized steps to ?5000 steps/day whereas the control group continued normal physical activity levels. Both groups completed various cognitive tests, as well as a comprehensive survey assessing sleep, life satisfaction, anxiety, depression, and mood, both pre and post-intervention. The intervention group resumed normal physical activity levels for one week post-intervention and then completed the survey once more. Significant group x time interaction effects were observed in all health outcomes with the exception of cognitive function. In conclusion, a one-week sedentary behavior-inducing intervention has deleterious effects on sleep, life satisfaction, anxiety, depression, and mood in an active, young adult population. To promote and maintain desirable levels of these health outcomes among active individuals, consistent regular physical activity may be necessary.



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