Section: Original Research
Authors: Dorothy Dunlop1, Jing Song1, Emily Arnston2, Pamela Semanik3, Jungwha Lee4, Rowland Chang4, and Jennifer M. Hootman5
Affiliations: 1Center for Healthcare Studies, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL. 2Department of Health Policy and Management, Harvard University, Boston, MA. 3Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL. 4Department of Preventive Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL. 5Arthritis Department Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA.
Acceptance Date: November 12, 2013
Background: The harmful relationship of sedentary behavior to health may reflect an exchange of sedentary activity for moderate-vigorous activity or sedentary behavior may be a separate risk factor. We examined whether time spent in sedentary behavior is related to disability in activities of daily living (ADL), independent of time spent in moderate-vigorous activity in older adults. Methods: The nationally representative 2003-2005 National Health and Nutrition Examinations Surveys (NHANES) included 2286 adults aged 60 years and older with accelerometer-assessed physical activity. The association between ADL task disability and the daily percentage of sedentary time was evaluated by multiple logistic regression. Results: This sample spent almost 9 hours/day being sedentary during waking hours and 3.6% reported ADL disability. The odds of ADL disability were 46% greater (odds ratio 1.46, 95% confidence interval: 1.07, 1.98) for each daily hour spent in sedentary behavior, adjusted for moderate-vigorous activity, socioeconomic, and health factors. Conclusion: These U.S. national data show a strong relationship between greater time spent in sedentary behavior and the presence of ADL disability, independent of time spent in moderate or vigorous activity. These findings support programs encouraging older adults to decrease sedentary behavior regardless of their engagement in moderate or vigorous activity.
Key words: accelerometer, aging, sedentary behavior, activities of daily living