Sedentary Behavior and Happiness:The Mediation Effects of Social Capital

Akitomo Yasunaga*, Mohammad Javad Koohsari, Ai Shibata, Kaori Ishii, Rina Miyawaki, Kuniko Araki, Koichiro Oka

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Objectives: This study aimed to examine the associations between time spent in 6 different domains of sedentary behavior and happiness and whether social capital mediated such associations among adults and older adults living in a rural area of Japan. Research Design and Methods: Cross-sectional data from 3,357 participants (mean age: 60 ± 16 years) were used. 6 domains of sedentary behavior, happiness, and social capital were assessed using a self-report questionnaire. Age-stratified multivariable linear regression models adjusted for covariates were used to examine the associations between 6 domains of sedentary behavior and happiness. For relationships where the direct effect was significant, we tested the mediating effects of 2 social capital measures. Results: Among both adults and older adults, more time spent viewing television was significantly associated with lower happiness scores, and more time spent engaging in other leisure activities was significantly associated with higher happiness scores. In addition, more time spent using cell phones and computers was significantly associated with lower happiness scores among the adults. Engaging in activities with neighbors significantly mediated the relationship between other leisure activities and happiness in the adults and older adults, and between television viewing and happiness in the older adults. Discussion and Implications: Our findings indicated that less television viewing and more mentally active sedentary behavior (e.g., talking with others and engaging in hobbies) were associated with greater happiness. One aspect of social capital, engaging in activities with neighbors, acts as a potential mediator for relationships between sedentary behavior and happiness.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberigab044
JournalInnovation in Aging
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Emotional well-being
  • Health promotion
  • Mental health
  • Sitting time
  • Social sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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