Background: There is rapidly-emerging evidence on the harmful health effects of sedentary behaviors. The aim of this paper was to quantify time in sedentary behaviors and document socio-demographic variations in different life domains among adults. Methods: A population-based survey was carried out in 2012 through face-to-face interviews with Brazilian adults aged 20+years (N = 2,927). Information about time spent sedentary in a typical weekday was collected for five different domains (workplace, commuting, school/university, watching TV, and computer use at home). Descriptive and bivariate analyses examined variations in overall and domain-specific sedentary time by gender, age, educational attainment and socioeconomic position. Results: On average, participants reported spending 5.8 (SD 4.5) hours per day sitting. The median value was 4.5 (interquartile range: 2.5-8) hours. Men, younger adults, those with higher schooling and from the wealthiest socioeconomic groups had higher overall sedentary scores. TV time was higher in women, older adults and among those with low schooling and socioeconomic position. Sedentary time in transport was higher in men, younger adults, and participants with high schooling and high socioeconomic position. Computer use at home was more frequent among young adults and those from high socioeconomic groups. Sitting at work was higher in those with higher schooling and from the wealthiest socioeconomic groups. Sedentary behavior at school was related inversely to age and directly to schooling. Conclusion: Patterns of sedentary behavior are different by life domains. Initiatives to reduce prolonged sitting among Brazilian adults will be required on multiple levels for different life domains.
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