Screen-based Sedentary Behaviors and Their Association With Metabolic Syndrome Components Among Adults in Mexico

Nayeli Macías, MSc; Juan Espinosa-Montero, DSc; Eric Monterrubio-Flores, DSc; Lucía Hernández-Barrera, MSc; Catalina Medina-Garcia, DSc; Katia Gallegos-Carrillo, DSc; Ismael Campos-Nonato, DSc

Disclosures

Prev Chronic Dis. 2021;18(11):e95 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction

Abstract

Introduction: Approximately 25% of the adult population worldwide and 49.8% of Mexican adults have metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is the result of unhealthy dietary and sleeping patterns, sedentary behaviors, and physical inactivity. The objective of our study was to evaluate the association between sedentary behaviors as screen-based sedentary time (SBST) and each component of metabolic syndrome among adults who participated in the Mexico National Survey of Health and Nutrition Mid-way 2016.

Methods: We analyzed sociodemographic, clinical, and physical activity data from 3,166 adults aged 20 years or older. The International Physical Activity Questionnaire was used to evaluate sedentary behavior. SBST was obtained by counting minutes per week spent watching television, playing video games, and interacting with computers and smartphones. We used Poisson regression to estimate the prevalence ratio of time in front of screens as a continuous variable and its association with metabolic syndrome.

Results: The mean (SD) hours per day of SBST in men was 3.6 (0.4) and in women was 2.8 (0.2). The prevalence of metabolic syndrome was 59.6%. In men, the risk for metabolic syndrome increased 4% (P < .05) for each hour of SBST. Similarly, for each hour of SBST, the risk of abdominal obesity increased by 4% (P < .01). In women, we observed that the risk of hypertension or high-density lipoprotein cholesterol deficiency increased for each hour of SBST, and the risk of abdominal obesity increased for each hour of SBST in those who were inactive.

Conclusion: Sedentary behavior based on screen time is associated with metabolic syndrome and its components among Mexicans, depending on hours of sleep. Current public health policies should consider strategies for reducing SBST.

Introduction

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of at least 3 metabolic risk factors, including abdominal obesity, dyslipidemia, high blood pressure, and elevated fasting blood glucose.[1] The syndrome is the result of unhealthy dietary patterns,[2] inadequate sleep,[3] sedentary behaviors, and physical inactivity.[4] Approximately 25% of the adult population worldwide and 49.8% of adults in Mexico have metabolic syndrome.[5]

Sedentary behaviors are independent and modifiable risk factors of metabolic syndrome[4] and include activities such as lying down and screen-based sedentary time (SBST). SBST includes watching television, computer use, and other forms of on-screen activities.

SBST during leisure time and work time has been associated with high waist circumference, high blood pressure, high fasting blood glucose, and high triglycerides clustered together as metabolic syndrome.[6] A meta-analysis showed that adults spending more than 2 hours in sedentary activities and SBST during leisure time increased their risk of developing metabolic syndrome in the long term.[7]

Although there is no estimation of SBST prevalence in Mexican adults, around 58% has reported not to be physically active.[8] Moreover, no studies explore the association between SBST and metabolic syndrome by using nationally representative data. Furthermore, information about other factors that modify the association, such as physical activity and sleep duration, is scarce. Exploring whether interactions exist that are associated with variables described in other populations, such as hours of sleep, is necessary.[9] Among the factors that are related to SBST and that might modify their association with metabolic syndrome are time spent sleeping, physical activity, education, sex, occupation, and socioeconomic status.[3,4,6,7] The purpose of our study was to evaluate the association between sedentary behaviors, their modifiers, and each component of metabolic syndrome in adults who participated in the Mexico National Survey of Health and Nutrition Mid-way 2016.

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