Background: Although evidence on the health effects of sedentary behavior (SB) has grown systematically in recent years, few developing countries have reported population levels of SB, especially in South America. Our objective was to describe time spent sitting in a representative sample from Chile categorized by age, gender, educational level, and body mass index (BMI).
Methods: A national health survey was conducted in Chile in a nationally representative sample (n = 5411) in 2009–2010. Sitting time (ST) was measured with the Global Physical Activity Questionnaire Version 2.
Results: Data were from 5031 participants (43.26 ± 0.41 years, mean ± SE; 40.3% male). Overall, there were no gender differences in mean ST (men: 158.10 ± 5.80 min/day, women 143.45 ± 4.77 min/day; p = 0.05). ST was lower in those who lived in rural areas compared with urban areas (99.4 min/day vs. 160.0 min/day; p = 0.001). ST increased significantly with increasing BMI, but only in men (p = 0.009), and was positively related to years of education in both men and women (p < 0.0001).
Conclusion: The findings were different from those reported in other countries and contexts, reinforcing the need for international surveillance and monitoring over time to inform policy makers. Differences in ST across different groups emphasize the need to develop tailored messages and interventions for reducing ST in different population subgroups.