Why I Get Up Off My Butt: Older Adults’ Motives to Limit Their Sedentary Behavior

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
View More View Less
Restricted access

Purchase article

USD  $24.95

Student 1 year online subscription

USD  $79.00

1 year online subscription

USD  $105.00

Student 2 year online subscription

USD  $150.00

2 year online subscription

USD  $200.00

Older adults spend more time, on average, engaged in sedentary behaviors (SBs) compared with younger cohorts. This is concerning, because prolonged SB is associated with detrimental outcomes. The purpose of this study was to explore the degree to which older adults’ motives to limit their SB were internalized, consistent with self-determination theory. Following the qualitative description approach, seven focus groups (n = 27) of community-dwelling older adults were conducted. Focus groups were transcribed verbatim and coded using a thematic approach. Results revealed some motivation subthemes, which appeared to endorse similar content, varied in the degree to which participants internalized them, differentiating these motives along the self-determination theory motivational continuum. These findings demonstrated that not all motives are equal, highlighting the importance of theory-driven future SB interventions.

The authors are with the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.

Pope (paige.pope@uleth.ca) is corresponding author.

Supplementary Materials

    • Supplementary Material (pdf 158 KB)
  • Assor, A., Vansteenkiste, M., & Kaplan, A. (2009). Identified versus introjected approach and introjected avoidance motivations in school and in sports: The limited benefits of self-worth strivings. Journal of Educational Psychology, 101(2), 482497. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Aunger, J.A., Greaves, C.J., Davis, E.T., & Greig, C.A. (2019). A novel behavioural INTErvention to REduce Sitting Time in older adults undergoing orthopaedic surgery (INTEREST): Protocol for a randomised controlled feasibility study. Pilot and Feasibility Studies, 5(1), 54. PubMed ID: 30997142 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bradshaw, C., Atkinson, S., & Doody, O. (2017). Employing a qualitative description approach in health care research. Global Qualitative Nursing Research, 4, 2333393617742282. PubMed ID: 29204457 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Braun, V., Clarke, V., & Weate, P. (2016). Using thematic analysis in sport and exercise research. In B. Smith & A.C. Sparkes (Eds.), Routledge handbook of qualitative research methods in sport and exercise (pp. 213227). London, UK: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Burke, S. (2016). Rethinking ‘validity’ and ‘trustworthiness’ in qualitative inquiry: How might we judge the quality of qualitative research in sport and exercise sciences? In B. Smith & A.C. Sparkes (Eds.), Routledge handbook of qualitative research methods in sport and exercise (pp. 352362). London, UK: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Chastin, S.F., Fitzpatrick, N., Andrews, M., & DiCroce, N. (2014). Determinants of sedentary behavior, motivation, barriers and strategies to reduce sitting time in older women: A qualitative investigation. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 11(1), 773791. PubMed ID: 24402064 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Copeland, J.L., Ashe, M.C., Biddle, S.J., Brown, W.J., Buman, M.P., Chastin, S., . . . Owen, N. (2017). Sedentary time in older adults: A critical review of measurement, associations with health, and interventions. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 51(21), 1539. PubMed ID: 28724714 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Creswell, J.W. (2013). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Los Angeles, CA: SAGE Publications.

  • de Rezende, L.F.M., Rey-López, J.P., Matsudo, V.K.R., & do Carmo Luiz, O. (2014). Sedentary behavior and health outcomes among older adults: A systematic review. BMC Public Health, 14(1), 333. PubMed ID: 24712381 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Deci, E.L., & Ryan, R.M. (1985). Intrinsic motivation and self-determination in human behavior. New York, NY: Plenum.

  • Deci, E.L., & Ryan, R.M. (2000). The “what” and “why” of goal pursuits: Human needs and the self-determination of behavior. Psychological Inquiry, 11(4), 227268. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Deci, E.L., & Ryan, R.M. (2008). Facilitating optimal motivation and psychological well-being across life’s domains. Canadian Psychology/Psychologie Canadienne, 49(1), 1423. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dontje, M.L., Leask, C.F., Harvey, J., Skelton, D.A., & Chastin, S.F. (2018). Why older adults spend time sedentary and break their sedentary behavior: A mixed-methods approach using life-logging equipment. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 26(2), 259266. PubMed ID: 28952902 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Elliot, A.J. (2006). The hierarchical model of approach-avoidance motivation. Motivation and Emotion, 30(2), 111116. doi:

  • Gardiner, P.A., Clark, B.K., Healy, G.N., Eakin, E.G., Winkler, E.A., & Owen, N. (2011). Measuring older adults’ sedentary time: Reliability, validity, and responsiveness. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 43(11), 21272133. PubMed ID: 21448077 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gaston, A., De Jesus, S., Markland, D., & Prapavessis, H. (2016). I sit because I have fun when I do so! Using self-determination theory to understand sedentary behavior motivation among university students and staff. Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine, 4(1), 138154. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Glanz, K., & Bishop, D.B. (2010). The role of behavioral science theory in development and implementation of public health interventions. Annual Review of Public Health, 31(1), 399418. PubMed ID: 20070207 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Glesne, C. (2016). Becoming qualitative researchers: An introduction (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education.

  • Greenwood-Hickman, M.A., Renz, A., & Rosenberg, D.E. (2016). Motivators and barriers to reducing sedentary behavior among overweight and obese older adults. The Gerontologist, 56(4), 660668. PubMed ID: 26035881 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Harvey, J.A., Chastin, S.F., & Skelton, D.A. (2015). How sedentary are older people? A systematic review of the amount of sedentary behavior. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 23(3), 471487. PubMed ID: 25387160 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lewis, L.K., Rowlands, A.V., Gardiner, P.A., Standage, M., English, C., & Olds, T. (2016). Small steps: Preliminary effectiveness and feasibility of an incremental goal-setting intervention to reduce sitting time in older adults. Maturitas, 85, 6470. PubMed ID: 26857881 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lubans, D.R., Lonsdale, C., Plotnikoff, R.C., Smith, J., Dally, K., & Morgan, P.J. (2013). Development and evaluation of the Motivation to Limit Screen-Time Questionnaire (MLSQ) for adolescents. Preventive Medicine, 57(5), 561566. PubMed ID: 23954182 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Maher, J.P., & Conroy, D.E. (2016). A dual-process model of older adults’ sedentary behavior. Health Psychology, 35(3), 262272. PubMed ID: 26690644 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • McGowan, L.J., Powell, R., & French, D.P. (2020). Older adults’ construal of sedentary behaviour: Implications for reducing sedentary behaviour in older adult populations. Journal of Health Psychology, 1359105320909870. Advance online publication. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ng, J.Y., Ntoumanis, N., Thøgersen-Ntoumani, C., Deci, E.L., Ryan, R.M., Duda, J.L., & Williams, G.C. (2012). Self-determination theory applied to health contexts: A meta-analysis. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 7(4), 325340. PubMed ID: 26168470 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nicolson, G., Hayes, C., & Darker, C. (2019). Examining total and domain-specific sedentary behaviour using the socio-ecological model–A cross-sectional study of Irish adults. BMC Public Health, 19(1), 1155. PubMed ID: 31438911 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nilsen, P. (2015). Making sense of implementation theories, models and frameworks. Implementation Science, 10(1), 53. PubMed ID: 25895742 doi:

  • Owen, N., Sugiyama, T., Eakin, E.E., Gardiner, P.A., Tremblay, M.S., & Sallis, J.F. (2011). Adults’ sedentary behavior: Determinants and interventions. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 41(2), 189196. PubMed ID: 21767727 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • QSR International. (2018). NVivo (Version 12) [Computer software]. Melbourne, Australia: Qualitative Solutions & Research PTY Ltd.

  • Rodrigues, F., Teixeira, D.S., Cid, L., Machado, S., & Monteiro, D. (2019). The role of dark-side of motivation and intention to continue in exercise: A self-determination theory approach. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 60(6), 585595. PubMed ID: 31587291 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ryan, R.M., & Deci, E.L. (2017). Self-determination theory: Basic psychological needs in motivation, development, and wellness. New York, NY: Guilford Publications.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Smith, B., & Sparkes, A.C. (2016). Interviews: Qualitative interviewing in the sport and exercise sciences. In B. Smith & A.C. Sparkes (Eds.), Routledge handbook of qualitative research methods in sport and exercise (pp. 103123). London, UK: Routledge.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Tam-Seto, L., Weir, P., & Dogra, S. (2016). Factors influencing sedentary behaviour in older adults: An ecological approach. AIMS Public Health, 3(3), 555572. PubMed ID: 29546182 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Teixeira, P.J., Carraça, E.V., Markland, D., Silva, M.N., & Ryan, R.M. (2012). Exercise, physical activity, and self-determination theory: A systematic review. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 9(1), 78. PubMed ID: 22726453 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Tremblay, M.S., Aubert, S., Barnes, J.D., Saunders, T.J., Carson, V., Latimer-Cheung, A.E., . . . Chinapaw, M.J. (2017). Sedentary behavior research network (SBRN)–terminology consensus project process and outcome. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 14(1), 75. PubMed ID: 28599680 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Van Hoecke, A.S., Delecluse, C., Bogaerts, A., & Boen, F. (2014). Effects of need-supportive physical activity counseling on well-being: A 2-year follow-up among sedentary older adults. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 11(8), 14921502. PubMed ID: 24384675 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Voss, M.L., Pope, J.P., & Copeland, J.L. (2020). Reducing sedentary time among older adults in assisted living: Perceptions, barriers, and motivators. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(3), 717. PubMed ID: 31979131 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • World Health Organization. (2015). World report on ageing and health. Geneva, Switzerland: Author.

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 319 319 75
Full Text Views 7 7 2
PDF Downloads 7 7 4