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Physical activity and sitting time in bariatric surgery patients 1–16 years post-surgery



Physical activity (PA) is an important adjunct to bariatric surgery in the treatment of severe obesity; however, patient PA levels prior to and in the short-term following surgery are usually low. Scarce data exist describing PA and sedentary behaviours in the long term following surgery. The objectives were to describe PA and sitting time in bariatric patients 1–16 years post-surgery and assess their associations with patient, surgery and weight-loss characteristics. A total of 398 bariatric patients (73% female; mean age 47 ± 11 years, mean 6 ± 4 years since surgery) completed a telephone questionnaire. Patients reported moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA: # sessions week−1 ≥30 min), sitting time (h d−1) and change in PA and sitting time vs. pre-surgery (more/same/less). Associations with patient, surgery and weight-loss characteristics were assessed. Only 53% of patients reported ≥1 session week−1 MVPA, mean sitting time was 7 ± 4 h d−1, 74% of patients reported more PA and 53% reported less sitting, now vs. pre-surgery. Age, sex, smoking status, pre-surgery body mass index, time-since-surgery and percent excess weight lost were significantly associated with PA and/or sitting outcomes. Patients currently experiencing ≥50% excess weight loss had over three times the odds of reporting ≥1 session week−1 MVPA (odds ratio [95% confidence interval] 3.28 [1.57, 6.89]) and almost four times greater odds of reporting ‘more’ PA vs. pre-surgery (3.78 [2.15, 6.62]) compared with their less successful counterparts. Results point to low PA and high sedentariness among bariatric patients in the long-term following surgery, associated with several characteristics. Associations with long-term weight management highlight the need for tailored interventions to promote active living in this patient population.