Adriana J. van BallegooijenHidde P. van der Ploeg and Marjolein Visser
Online published: 18 February 2019
European Review of Aging and Physical Activity 2019 16:3. 

Layman’s summary

Daily sedentary time and physical activity among Dutch older adults

Higher physical activity is associated with lower chronic disease risk among older adults. However, less is known about the optimal balance between daily physical activity and sedentary time and their correlates among older adults. In this study van Ballegooijen et al from the VU University in Amsterdam objectively measured physical activity patterns and assessed its correlates in a large sample of older Dutch adults. In addition, they examined different combined profiles of sedentary time and physical activity across strata of sex, age, education and BMI groups.

They made use of cross-sectional data from 1,201 participants of the 2015-2016 examination of the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam, a population-based cohort of older Dutch adults. The mean age was 71 year and 51% were women Participants were instructed to wear an Actigraph accelerometer for 7 consecutive days at the right hip. Time spent in sedentary (<100 counts per minute [cpm]), light (100-2020 cpm), and moderate and vigorous activity (MVPA) ≥2020 cpm) were calculated and compared across age, sex, education and BMI groups.

The authors conclude that the majority of wake time was spent sedentary 65% followed by light (33%), and moderate to vigorous physical activity (2%). Higher age and higher BMI were related to more time spent sedentary, while female sex and lower education were related to less time spent sedentary. The combination of high sedentary time and low physical activity was significantly associated with higher age, higher BMI, and slower walking speed compared to the combination of low sedentary time and high physical activity. This suggests that increasing light activity might be an effective and feasible strategy in older persons to reduce sedentary time.

You can also read the scientific article here.