Sedentary time (too much sitting, as distinct from lack of exercise) is a prevalent
risk to health among older adults.
Examine the feasibility of an intervention to reduce and break up sedentary time in
A pre-experimental (pre–post) study.
A total of 59 participants aged ≥60 years from Brisbane, Australia. Data were collected
between May and December 2009 and analyzed in 2010.
One face-to-face goal-setting consultation and one individually tailored mailing providing
feedback on accelerometer-derived sedentary time, grounded in social cognitive theory
and behavioral choice theory.
Main outcome measures
Program reach and retention; changes in accelerometer-derived sedentary time, light-intensity
physical activity (LIPA), and moderate-to-vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA)
(assessed over 6 days in pre- and post-intervention periods); and participant satisfaction.
Reach was 87.5% of those screened and eligible; retention was 100%. From pre- to post-intervention,
participants decreased their sedentary time [–3.2% (95% CI= –4.18, –2.14), p<0.001], increased their breaks in sedentary time per day [4.0 (1.48, 6.52), p=0.003], and increased their LIPA [2.2% (1.40, 2.99), p<0.001] and MVPA [1.0% (0.55, 1.38), p<0.001]. Significantly greater reductions in sedentary time were made after 10:00am, with significantly greater number of breaks occurring between 7:00pm and 9:00pm. Participants reported high satisfaction with the program (median 9/10).
Sedentary time in older adults can be reduced following a brief intervention based
on goal setting and behavioral self-monitoring.