Background: Obesity is often associated with low physical activity (PA) levels. There is a paucity of research on objectively measured PA in obese adults undergoing bariatric surgery. This study aimed to compare patterns of sedentary behaviour (SB) and PA in obese adults before and three months after bariatric surgery.
Methods: Nineteen obese adults (12 females; aged 44 ± 10 years) wore two PA monitors (SenseWear Armband [SWA] and Stepwatch Activity Monitor [SAM]), for 7 consecutive days, before (pre) and three months after bariatric surgery (post). Using SWA data, Metabolic Equivalent of Tasks (METs) was used to partition waking hours as time in SB (<1.5 METs), light (1.5 to 3 METs), moderate (3 to 6 METs) or vigorous intensity PA (>6 METs). Daily step count was measured with the SAM.
Findings: Compared with measures collected prior to surgery, three months following surgery, participants weighed less (97 ± 18 vs. 115 ± 19 kg; p < 0.001) and had a lower Body Mass Index (34 ± 6 vs. 40 ± 6 kg·m-2; p < 0.001). Following surgery, there were no changes in the proportion of waking hours spent in SB (pre 74 ± 11% vs. post 72 ± 12%; p = 0.40), light (pre 21 ± 9% vs. post 23 ± 11%; p = 0.26 ) or moderate intensity PA (pre 5 ± 3% vs. post 5 ± 3%; p = 0.82). In addition, there was no difference in the number of steps/day (pre 6927 ± 3606 steps vs. post 7481 ± 3433 steps; p = 0.47).
Conclusion: Both before and after bariatric surgery, obese adults spent most of their waking hours in SB. Despite considerable weight loss at three months following surgery, there were no differences in the patterns of SB and PA.