The research question for the study was; Adult total wellness: the group differences on the basis of physical activity level and sitting time.
Participants were recruited for the study through email invitations, and the ethical approval was assumed accepted by participants who clicked the website link containing the study information. The website page included access to International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) and Wellness Evaluation of Lifestyle (WEL), as well as the consent form. A sample of 226 adults who were registered members of an advertisements and health institute in an online student service news of South East Queensland University, ages 21 to 35 participated in the study. The males in the study were 116 and females were 110 (Barwais et al., 2014).
To assess an individual’s level of physical activity achieved recently, the IPAQ was used. The form contains objective questions in relation to the frequency in days per week, duration in hours or minutes, level of intensity in terms of vigorous, moderate and walking as well as the sitting time for the past seven days. The questionnaire was then scored using established methods as per the IPAQ scoring protocol. Total Metabolic Equivalent Units (METs) minutes of physical activity (PA) were calculated by the weekly PA volume (duration x frequency) of each activity by its relative MET value. Respondents were categorized as per the guidelines of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) established for adults. Participants reporting a PA level of 1-499 MET minutes/week were categorized as insufficiently active while those who had a PA level above 500 were sufficiently active. The time spend sitting during the weekday were considered as a proxy measure of sedentary behavior. They were categorized as having low at 240 minutes per day or high at above 240 minutes per day sitting time. Participants were then categorized four groups: low total sitting time per sufficient PA; low total sitting time per insufficient PA; high total sitting time per sufficient PA and high total sitting time per insufficient PA. Wellness was measured the WEL inventory adapted from the Wheel of Wellness model. The wheel model has five major life task considered central to healthy functioning, empirically supported and present important characteristics of a healthy person. Majority of the respondents were categorized within the high total sitting time per insufficient PA group. There were no individuals in the low total sitting time per insufficient PA category. The majority, 77 percent, were categorized in the group of wellness development needed followed by 23 percent in the moderate wellness group. There were no individuals in the high-level wellness category (Barwais et al., 2014).
The conclusion by the researchers is that individuals can achieve the public health recommendations concerning physical health levels yet spend unhealthy amounts of time in sedentary behaviors. This supports several past studies that demonstrated that no individuals were found in the high level of wellness group, which is deemed not “the norm” in the United States. It also supports the concept that active lifestyles are associated with a greater overall state of wellness (Barwais et al., 2014).
The researchers are justified in their argument that low level of PA and increased sedentary behavior is correlated to an individual’s wellness. Several recent studies have demonstrated that individuals who undertake low PA and lead a sedentary life are at increased risks of health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity. Consequently, a high level of PA is correlated to improved rates of metabolism, blood pressure, and heart rate.
The results of the study provide a wide array of meaningful information to enhance the understanding of the implications of the combination of sitting time and sufficient or insufficient PA on total wellness. Such knowledge is helpful in analyzing the significance of the development of health initiatives that focus to reduce sedentary behaviors and increase PA. It also offers some insight into public health recommendations by supporting the concept that significant health benefits may be achieved by individuals who spend less time sufficiently physical active and sitting.
The argument that low level of PA and increased sedentary behavior is correlated to an individual’s wellness supports several past studies that demonstrated that no individuals were found in the high level of wellness group which is deemed not “the norm” in the United States. It also supports the concept that active lifestyles are associated with a greater overall state of wellness (Barwais et al., 2014). A study by Healey (2013), on the feasibility and effect of an intervention for inactive and obesity on physical fitness and BMI confirmed the effectiveness of such initiatives as physical fitness in improving cardiovascular capacity and reducing IBM. This study confirms other related studies that demonstrate that physical inactivity contributes significantly to the present obesity epidemic in the Western world. The studies identified that, over 26% adults as obese, 36% overweight, and 28% 0f 2-6year olds across the U.S. are obese or overweight. This demonstrates just how preventive efforts that address the issue are necessary (Campbell & Hesketh, 2008). The challenge for health promotion and public health practitioners is, therefore, how to engage effectively individuals in behaviors which can manage, reduce, or prevent sedentary lifestyle.
The study forms a strong basis for making an informed decision concerning health practice and behavior. Literature review of different other studies physical wellbeing related diseases prevalence in the USA and across the world reveal high rates, and recommendations champion for the adoption of comprehensive programs that involve different levels of participation (Lobo, 2011).
Simplistic messages of eat less-exercise more, seem to have limited impact on changing people’s behaviors. Furthermore, public health related warning messages on the risks related to obesity appear everywhere on industry marketing campaigns with limited impact. However, such empirically proven information is strong in convincing and motivating behavior change.
Several studies have demonstrated the strong association of physical activity and sitting time to individual’s wellness. These two factors coupled with other sedentary behaviors no doubt independently affect adiposity through different mechanisms (Healey, 2013). Therefore, it is imperative to investigate the most effective intervention initiatives that can be adopted to comprehensively address these issues. The study reviews the role of physical activity in promoting physical wellness and preventing health problems (Barwais et al., 2014).
The study has demonstrated that engaging in sufficient levels of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activities for 30 minutes on five days a week provide health benefits. A decline in physical activity is caused by sedentary lifestyle and increased sitting time. Increase in sedentary lifestyle is correlated to more computer usage, viewing of television, and video gaming. Sedentary behaviors are linked with poor health outcomes as diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity. The study reviews the role of primary care-based initiatives in childhood obesity intervention. The study demonstrated Individuals can achieve the public health recommendations concerning physical health levels yet spend unhealthy amounts of time in sedentary behaviors. In addition, the survey also supports the concept that active lifestyles are associated with a greater overall state of wellness (Barwais et al., 2014).
While most Western countries have identified the high prevalence health problems associated with physical activity and sedentary lifestyle, controversy still surrounds the issue as to which are the most effective intervention initiatives to be adopted to manage the risks (MacDonald & Wright, 2010). Numerous studies have demonstrated the strong association of physical activity and obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Prevention and management interventions are likely to be effective when the target guided by empirically proven data on current trends and possible workable solutions. Engaging in sufficient levels physical activity that is of moderate-to-vigorous intensity for 30 minutes on five days a week provide health benefits and promotes the overall wellbeing of individuals.
Barwais, F., Cuddihy, T., & Tomson, L. (2014). Adult total wellness: group differences based on sitting time and physical activity level. BMC Public Health, 14(1), 234.
Campbell, K. J., & Hesketh, K. D. (2008). Strategies Which Aim to Positively Impact on Weight, Physical Activity, Diet and Sedentary Behaviours in Children From Zero To Five Years. A Systematic Review of the Literature. Obesity Reviews, 8(4), 327-338.
Healey, J. (2013). Physical Activity and Fitness. Thirroul, N.S.W: The Spinney Press.
Lobo, A. (2011). Physical Activity and Health in the Elderly. [S.l.]: Bentham Science Publishers.
MacDonald, D., & Wright, J. (2010). Young People, Physical Activity and the Everyday. London: Routledge.