Why Older Adults Spend Time Sedentary and Break Their Sedentary Behavior: A Mixed-Methods Approach Using Life-Logging Equipment

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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Older adults are recommended to reduce their sedentary time to promote healthy ageing. To develop effective interventions identifying when, why, and how older adults are able to change their sitting habits is important. The aim of this mixed-method study was to improve our understanding of reasons for (breaking) sedentary behavior in older adults. Thirty older adults (74.0 [±5.3] years old, 73% women) were asked about their believed reasons for (breaking) sedentary behavior, and about their actual reasons when looking at a personal storyboard with objective records of activPAL monitor data and time-lapse camera pictures showing all their periods of sedentary time in a day. The most often mentioned believed reason for remaining sedentary was television/radio (mentioned by 48.3%), while eating/drinking was most often mentioned as actual reason (96.6%). Only 17.2% believed that food/tea preparation was a reason to break up sitting, while this was an actual reason for 82.8% of the study sample. Results of this study show that there is a discrepancy between believed and actual reasons for (breaking) sedentary behavior. These findings suggest developing interventions utilizing the actual reasons for breaking sedentary behavior to reduce sedentary time in older adults.

Dontje, Leask, Harvey, Skelton, and Chastin are with the School of Health and Life Science, Institute of Applied Health Research, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, United Kingdom.

Address author correspondence to Manon L. Dontje at dr.m.l.dontje@gmail.com.
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