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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 70-76

Relationship of sedentary behaviour and body composition of university student-athletes

Department of Sports Science, College of Human Kinetics, University of the Philippines, Quezon City, Philippines

Correspondence Address:
Revin Aaron B. Santos
Department of Sports Science, College of Human Kinetics, University of the Philippines, Quezon City
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mohe.mohe_26_21

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Background: Sedentary behaviour is a major health concern not only for the general population but for athletes as well. Young athletes are considered highly active individuals due to the training required in their sports and would easily meet weekly recommendations for physical activity participation. However, athletes may also have the tendency to be highly sedentary if they spend most hours of their day sitting. This may lead to undesirable changes in body composition, which may negatively affect their health and performance. Objective: The aim of this study is to determine the relationship between sedentary behaviour and the body composition of university athletes. Methods: Data from 82 student-athletes (age = 20.02 ± 1.3 years; 38 males and 44 females) from different sports categories were gathered and analysed. Body composition, specifically body mass index, fat mass and fat-free mass, measured through bioelectric impedance analysis. Sedentary behaviour was quantified using a self-report physical activity questionnaire. Results: The analysis revealed no significant relationship between sitting time (hours/day) and body composition measures in both genders. A significant difference in sitting time was found when the groups were classified according to sports category (p = 0.03), where weight category sports (m = 6.99 h, standard deviation [SD] =2.74) indicated more sitting hours compared to non-weight category sports (m = 5.81 h, SD = 1.84). Between genders, there was no difference in reported sitting hours (p = 0.456); however, both groups spend relatively long periods sitting during the waking hours of the day. A moderate negative relationship was found between sports category and sitting time for the females only (r = −0.322, p = 0.028). For this population, females in the weight category had more sitting time than those in the non-weight category. Conclusion: These results suggest that among university student-athletes, sedentary behaviour is not associated with changes in body composition. Even so, sedentary behaviour was evident among the participants; hence, the importance of educating athletes about the detrimental effects of sedentary living on health and performance becomes more vital

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