Journal Articles

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International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity


BACKGROUND: The 24-h rest and activity behaviors (i.e., physical activity, sedentary behaviors and sleep) are fundamental human behaviors essential to health and well-being. Functional principal component analysis (fPCA) is a flexible approach for characterizing rest-activity rhythms and does not rely on a priori assumptions about the activity shape. The objective of our study is to apply fPCA to a nationally representative sample of American adults to characterize variations in the 24-h rest-activity pattern, determine how the pattern differs according to demographic, socioeconomic and work characteristics, and examine its associations with general health status.

METHODS: The current analysis used data from adults 25 or older in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES, 2011-2014). Using 7-day 24-h actigraphy recordings, we applied fPCA to derive profiles for overall, weekday and weekend rest-activity patterns. We examined the association between each rest-activity profile in relation to age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, income and working status using multiple linear regression. We also used multiple logistic regression to determine the relationship between each rest-activity profile and the likelihood of reporting poor or fair health.

RESULTS: We identified four distinct profiles (i.e., high amplitude, early rise, prolonged activity window, biphasic pattern) that together accounted for 86.8% of total variation in the study sample. We identified numerous associations between each rest-activity profile and multiple sociodemographic characteristics. We also found evidence suggesting the associations differed between weekdays and weekends. Finally, we reported that the rest-activity profiles were associated with self-rated health.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study provided evidence suggesting that rest-activity patterns in human populations are shaped by multiple demographic, socioeconomic and work factors, and are correlated with health status.


Actigraphy, Adult, Humans, Nutrition Surveys, Principal Component Analysis, Rest, Sedentary Behavior

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