Older Adult Sedentary Behaviour

It is well established from epidemiological evidence that as have more birthdays we tend to become more sedentary.  Paul Gardiner noted that there has been little focus on sedentary behaviour in older adults with < 10% of papers on sedentary behaviour including the older population, so we will need to change that!

Shilpa Dodra, presented evidence that there is an independent relationship between sedentary behaviour and physical activity when considering the success of ageing using multiple outcomes.  In females this relationship was clear, the male population did not show such a clear relationship.

Chuck Matthews and Emmanuel Stamatakis presented the findings of surveys on with older adults and showed that even high levels of physical activity do not mitigate the effect of high levels of sedentary behaviour in older adults.  Emmanuel, noted that TV viewing is consistently associated with cardiometabolic risk factors where are accelerometry data is less convincing.

Yu Ling Chen presented her findings on prevalence of SB in adults over the age of 50.  She found that those over 50 spend at least 2hrs watching TV and the majority watch between 1-4hrs a day.  SHe highlighted the problem in collation of the information were measurement and analysis are varied from one study to the next.  I have experienced similar difficulties when conducting my own systematic review on prevalence and amount of SB in the over 60’s.

In smaller scale studies sedentary behaviour in the care setting have been considered by Sally Barber and Margaret Grant.  Margaret Grant showed when older adult are admitted to a hospital they have high levels of sedentary behaviour, even when they are medically stable, assessed to be independent on admission and in a rehab ward.  The reason for this may be that they don’t have the same stimulus that they would at home, such as activities of daily living (cooking etc).  When participants are followed up at home in the days after discharge their SB decreases.

There seems to be little work on SB in the clinical environment, so we really need to do more work in there to make sure the patients don’t increase sedentariness as this has potentially could hamper their recovery.