Sedentary Time in Older Adults: Sitting Is Not the New Smoking

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A growing body of literature suggests that excessive sedentary time may have deleterious health consequences, particularly among inactive individuals. Given that older adults are the least physically active and most sedentary of any demographic group, research on active, healthy aging must consider both the cause and the consequences of prolonged time spent sitting. Current evidence suggests that reducing sedentary time may be beneficial to older adults and allow them to better maintain their functional capacity and autonomy, but more research is needed to enable the development of evidence-based behavioral goals that will improve health outcomes. There is also a need to consider sedentary behavior from an organizational and societal perspective that moves beyond workplace and school settings to be inclusive of older adults, the fastest growing population in the world.

The author is with the Dept. of Kinesiology and Physical Education, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, AB, Canada.

Address correspondence to jennifer.copeland@uleth.ca.
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