Research Study Abstract

Association of Daily Rest-Activity Patterns With Adiposity and Cardiometabolic Risk Measures in Teens

  • Published on May 2, 2019

Emerging data indicate that the timing and rhythms of energetic behaviors may influence metabolism and obesity risk. Our aim was to derive diurnal rest-activity patterns from actigraphy in adolescents and analyze associations with adiposity measures and cardiometabolic risk factors.

Adolescents in the Project Viva cohort wore a wrist ActiGraph over 7 days. We derived markers of daily rest-activity patterns from actigraphy using nonparametric models, generating measurements of relative amplitude (RA). RA reflects the normalized difference in activity measured during the most active 10-hour period and the least active 5-hour period, averaged over multiple 24-hour periods. Using multivariable-adjusted linear regression models, we estimated associations of RA and its components with markers of adiposity (body mass index, waist circumference, skinfolds, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry fat mass) and cardiometabolic health (cardiometabolic risk score, derived as the mean of five sex-specific internal z-scores for waist circumference, systolic blood pressure, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol scaled inversely, and log-transformed triglycerides and homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance).

A total of 778 adolescents provided at least 5 days of valid actigraphy data. The average age was 13.2 (±.9) years, 52% were female, and the average RA was .9 (±.1). A higher RA reflecting higher activity during wakefulness and lower activity during the night was associated with more favorable indices of adiposity (e.g., −.35 kg/m2 lower body mass index per each .04 units increment of RA; 95% confidence interval: −.60 to −.09).

In this large sample of adolescents, a higher RA emerged as a novel biomarker, associated with more favorable cardiometabolic profiles.


  • Mirja Quante M.D. 1,2
  • Elizabeth M. Cespedes Feliciano Sc.M., Sc.D. 3
  • Sheryl L. Rifas-Shiman M.P.H. 4
  • Sara Mariani Ph.D. 2
  • Emily R. Kaplan B.S. 2
  • Michael Rueschman M.P.H. 2
  • Emily Oken M.D., M.P.H. 4,5
  • Elsie M. Taveras, M.D., M.P.H. 5,6
  • Susan Redline M.D., M.P.H. 2,7


  • 1

    Department of Neonatology, University of Tuebingen, Tuebingen, Germany

  • 2

    Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, Department of Medicine, Brigham & Women's Hospital & Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts

  • 3

    Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Oakland, California

  • 4

    Division of Chronic Disease Research Across the Lifecourse (CoRAL), Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, Boston, Massachusetts

  • 5

    Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts

  • 6

    Division of General Academic Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, MassGeneral Hospital for Children, Boston, Massachusetts

  • 7

    Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts


Journal of Adolescent Health