University of Leicester
Sedentary time and regional fat distribution.pdf (306.35 kB)

Associations of Sedentary Time with Fat Distribution in a High-Risk Population.

Download (306.35 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 2015-07-03, 11:41 authored by Joseph Henson, Charlotte L. Edwardson, Bruno Morgan, Mark A. Horsfield, Danielle H. Bodicoat, S. J. Biddle, T. Gorely, M. A. Nimmo, Gerry P. McCann, Kamlesh Khunti, Melanie J. Davies, Thomas Yates
Purpose. The effect of sedentary behaviour on regional fat deposition, independent of physical activity remains equivocal. We examined the cross-sectional associations between objectively measured sedentary time and markers of regional fat distribution (heart, liver, visceral, subcutaneous and total body fat) in a population at a high risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Methods. Participants were recruited from primary care to two diabetes prevention programmes. Sedentary time (<25 counts per 15 seconds) was measured using Actigraph GT3X accelerometers. Heart, liver, visceral, subcutaneous and total body fat were quantified using magnetic resonance images (MRI). Fat volumes were calculated by multiplying the crosssectional areas of the fat-containing pixels by the slice thickness. The liver fat percentage was measured using a representative region of interest created in the right lobe of the liver avoiding the main portal veins. Linear regression models examined the association of sedentary time with markers of regional fat deposition. Results. Sixty-six participants (age = 47.9±16.2 years; male = 50.0%) were included. Following adjustment for several covariates, including glycaemia, whole body fat and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), each 30 minutes of sedentary time was associated with 15.7cm3 higher heart fat (p=0.008), 1.2% higher liver fat (p=0.026) and 183.7cm3 higher visceral fat (p=0.039). Conclusion. This study provides new evidence suggesting that objectively measured sedentary behaviour may have an independent association upon heart, liver and visceral fat in individuals at a high risk of T2DM.


The research was supported by The National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care - Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland (NIHR CLAHRC – LNR), the University of Leicester Clinical Trials Unit and the NIHR Leicester-Loughborough Diet, Lifestyle and Physical Activity Biomedical Research Unit which is a partnership between University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Loughborough University and the University of Leicester. MRI scans (for the WA cohort only) were funded by Unilever Discover, UK. Project STAND was funded by the Medical Research Council and National Prevention Research Initiative funding partners (MRC Project no.91409). Dr G McCann is funded by a post-doctoral NIHR fellowship.



Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 2015, 47 (8), pp. 1727-1734

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF MEDICINE, BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES AND PSYCHOLOGY/School of Medicine/Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise


American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins





Copyright date


Available date




Usage metrics

    University of Leicester Publications


    No categories selected


    Ref. manager