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P38 Passive Commuting is Associated with Weight Status of Emerging Adults

      Background

      Weight gain among emerging adults is associated with later-life obesity and non-communicable disease (NCD). Time spent in passive commuting may be a contributing factor; however, this has received limited investigative attention.

      Objective

      To examine the association between passive commuting times and weight status in post-secondary students.

      Study Design, Setting, Participants

      Analysis of cross-sectional health assessment data from post-secondary students (n = 374; 17-26 years) was conducted.

      Measurable Outcome/Analysis

      The outcome variable, BMI, was dichotomized as 18.5-24.9 and ≥25 kg/meter-squared. The exposure of interest was average time/week spent in passive commuting. Covariates included age, sex, ethnicity (Caucasian, non-Caucasian), living situation (with someone or living alone), sedentary activities (hours/week watching television + computer time >26 hours = excess), and overall wellness measured by the National Wellness Institute's TestWell Wellness Inventory (scores dichotomized: excellent/good and needs improvement). Bivariate and binary logistic regression analyses examined associations between weight status and passive commuting while adjusting for all covariates.

      Results

      Most participants were female (80.3%), between 18-19 years (56.7%), non-Caucasian (63.3%), lived with others (87.4%), had excellent/good wellness scores (67.9%), spent >26 hours/week doing sedentary activities (58.6%), and had BMIs within the healthy range (77.3%). Passive commuting times ranged from 1.5 to 40 hours/week. Average commute times significantly differed between those with BMIs within the healthy range and above (t = 2.315, P = .021). Based on multivariable analysis, for each additional hour of weekly commute time, the likelihood of being within the healthy BMI range was reduced by 3% (aOR = 0.97, 95% CI = 0.95-0.99, P = .015).

      Conclusions

      Strategies to increase active commuting (eg, biking) in emerging adults may help in healthy weight management as well as prevent or delay later life obesity and NCD.
      Funding: Professional Development Fund.

      Appendix. Supplementary data