Sedentary behavior is associated with negative health outcomes, and older adults represent the most sedentary age group. There is currently little qualitative evidence to inform the development of sedentary behavior interventions targeting older adults. This study explored factors affecting older adults’ sedentary behaviors and the acceptability of potential strategies to reduce sedentary time. Semistructured interviews with 22 older adults with diverse socioeconomic backgrounds in Manchester, England were conducted. An inductive thematic analysis was structured using the framework approach. Limited availability of community resources was identified in deprived areas. Local environments impacted sedentary behavior, including sense of community belonging, crime, and physical infrastructure. Enjoyment, socializing, and feeling a sense of achievement were key motivations to engage in nonsedentary activities. As older adults desire social interaction and enjoyment, community interventions in urban settings should try to reduce sedentary behavior by offering group-based activities, particularly in deprived areas where current provision is limited.
Laura J. McGowan, Rachael Powell and David P. French
Angela Devereux-Fitzgerald, Rachael Powell and David P. French
Perceptions of time and energy and their role in physical activity engagement were examined in older adults living in lower socioeconomic status areas. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 19 participants aged 67–94 years. A thematic framework analysis identified four themes: Time is Energy (older adults conflate time and energy in relation to physical activity), Reduced Day (engaging in activities outside a certain time frame is deemed unacceptable), Being Given Enough Time (need for time to socialize and go at own pace), and Seasonal Impact (seasonal differences affecting access). Enjoyment appears to mitigate the perceived energy drain and increase the capacity for physical activities for many. Conflation of time and energy may explain observed discrepancies between older adults’ actual and perceived available time. Having locally based physical activities means less time/energy is required to attend, leaving more resources for physical activity itself. A limited availability of resources in lower socioeconomic status areas is therefore problematic.