Research Study Abstract

Movement behavior profiles and obesity: a latent profile analysis of 24-h time-use composition among Danish workers

  • Published on July 24, 2019

An element of obesity prevention is increasing total physical activity energy expenditure. However, this approach does not incorporate the balance of various movement behaviors—physical activity, sedentary behaviors and sleep—across domains of the day. We aimed to identify time-use profiles over work and leisure, termed ‘movement behavior profiles’ and to investigate their association with obesity.

Eight-hundred-and-seven workers completed (a) thigh accelerometry and diaries to determine their 24-h composition of behaviors (sedentary and standing, light physical activity and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity at work and leisure, and time in bed) and (b) obesity measurements. Movement behavior profiles were determined using latent profile analyses of isometric log-ratios of the 24-h composition, and labeled according to animal movement behavior traits. Linear models were applied to determine the association between profiles and obesity.

Four profiles were identified, labeled as “Chimpanzees” (n = 226), “Lions” (n = 179), “Ants” (n = 244), and “Koalas” (n = 158). “Chimpanzees” work time was evenly distributed between behaviors while their leisure time was predominantly active. Compared to Chimpanzees, “Lions” were more active at work and sedentary during leisure and spent more time in bed; “Ants” were more active at work and during leisure; “Koalas” were more sedentary at work and leisure and spent similar time in bed. With “Chimpanzees” as reference, “Lions” had least favorable obesity indicators: +2.0 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.6, 3.4) %body fat, +4.3 cm (1.4, 7.3) waist circumference and +1.0 (2.0, 0.0) Body Mass Index (BMI), followed by “Koalas” +2.0 (0.4, 3.7) %body fat, +3.1 cm (0.1, 6.0) waist circumference, and +0.8 (−0.30, 1.94) BMI. No significant differences were found between “Chimpanzees” and “Ants”.

Movement behavior profiles across work and leisure time-use compositions are associated with obesity. Achieving adequate balance between work and leisure movement behaviors should be further investigated as a potential obesity prevention strategy.


  • Nidhi Gupta 1
  • David M. Hallman 2
  • Dorothea Dumuid 3
  • Akshay Vij 4
  • Charlotte Lund Rasmussen 1,5
  • Marie Birk Jørgensen 6
  • Andreas Holtermann 1,7


  • 1

    National Research Centre for the Working Environment, Copenhagen, Denmark

  • 2

    Centre for Musculoskeletal Research, Department of Occupational Health Sciences and Psychology, University of Gävle, Gävle, Sweden

  • 3

    Alliance for Research in Exercise, Nutrition and Activity (ARENA), School of Health Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

  • 4

    Institute for Choice, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia

  • 5

    Section of Social Medicine, Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

  • 6

    Department of Forensic Science, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

  • 7

    Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark


International Journal of Obesity

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