November 15, 2018
2 min read

Morning physical activity more common among adults who maintain weight loss

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Adults who maintain weight loss have more consistent weekly patterns of physical activity and are active earlier in the day compared with other groups, according to data presented at the ObesityWeek annual meeting.

Seth A. Creasy

“Clinicians should be promoting daily physical activity for almost everyone,” Seth A. Creasy, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, told Endocrine Today. “Physical activity is particularly important for individuals who are trying to manage their body weight. Clinicians could use this information to inform their recommendations.”

Creasy and colleagues examined physical activity patterns for three groups, focusing on daily patterns and temporal patterns.

In the daily analysis, the groups were made up of weight-loss maintainers (n = 30; mean BMI, 23.7 kg/m²), who consistently maintained a loss of at least 13.6 kg for 1 year or more; adults with normal weight (n = 29; mean BMI, 22.7 kg/m²) and adults with overweight or obesity (n = 21; mean BMI, 32.9 kg/m²). Physical activity was measured during waking hours via accelerometer.

On a daily basis, participants in the weight-loss maintainer (P = .003) and normal-weight groups (P = .002) had less sedentary time on the weekends compared with the overweight/obesity group. Weight-loss maintainers also had similar amounts of physical activity during the week and weekend while those in the overweight/obesity group had a decline in physical activity from weekdays to weekend days (P = .011).

The researchers also looked at hourly physical activity among these three groups. They noted that weight-loss maintainers not only engaged in more physical activity daily compared with the normal-weight and overweight/obesity groups, but also had a significant uptick in activity within 3 hours of waking up. Weight-loss maintainers also were more active in the early morning and early afternoon during the week and significantly more active during the majority of each weekend day.

“We were surprised to see how active weight-loss maintainers were early in the morning. Although speculative, this may suggest that engaging in activity in the morning leads to higher levels of daily physical activity,” Creasy said. “You can imagine that a person who plans to do activity in the afternoon may have barriers that pop up and prohibit them from being able to do their activity in the afternoon. We also found that individuals that are maintaining a significant weight loss take similar amounts of steps on weekdays and weekends. This consistency in behavior may be important.” – by Phil Neuffer


Cotton E, et al. T-P-3461.

Creasy S, et al. T-P-3450.

Both presented at: ObesityWeek 2018; Nov. 11-15, 2018; Nashville, Tenn.

Disclosure: Creasy reports that this research was funded by the NIH.