Background: No study has experimentally manipulated
sedentary behavior and evaluated its effect on life satisfaction. Thus, the
purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of a free-living, sedentary
behavior-inducing randomized controlled intervention on life satisfaction.
Methods: Active, young adults between the ages of 18-35 were
recruited and randomly assigned into a sedentary behavior intervention group (n
= 26) or a control group (n = 13). The intervention group participants were
instructed to eliminate all exercise and restrict daily steps (as measured via
pedometry) to 5000 or less per day for one week. The control group was
instructed to maintain regular levels of exercise and other physical activity
for one week. Both groups completed the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS)
pre-intervention and immediately post-intervention.
Results: There was a significant group x time interaction (F =
32.75, P < 0.001), with post-hoc contrast tests indicating decreased
SWLS score (indicating lower levels of life satisfaction) in the intervention
group during Visit 2 (post-intervention) compared with Visit 1
(pre-intervention); this corresponded with a mean absolute (Visit 2 minus Visit
1) change of -8.58 (95% CI: -5.91, -11.24) for SWLS scores in the intervention
group (31.1% reduction).
Conclusion: A one-week
sedentary behavior-inducing intervention may negatively impact life
satisfaction in an active, young adult population. Regular physical activity
may be imperative in avoiding negative life satisfaction-related consequences.