How Acceptable is Reducing Sedentary Behavior to Older Adults? Perceptions and Experiences Across Diverse Socioeconomic Areas

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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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.

The authors are with the Manchester Centre for Health Psychology, School of Health Sciences, The University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom.

McGowan ( is corresponding author.

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