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Feasibility of Reducing Older Adults' Sedentary Time

  • Paul A. Gardiner
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence to: Paul A. Gardiner, BSc, The University of Queensland, Cancer Prevention Research Centre, School of Population Health, Level 3 Public Health Building, Herston Road, Herston, Queensland 4006, Australia
    Affiliations
    University of Queensland, Cancer Prevention Research Centre, School of Population Health, Brisbane, Australia
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  • Elizabeth G. Eakin
    Affiliations
    University of Queensland, Cancer Prevention Research Centre, School of Population Health, Brisbane, Australia

    Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, Australia
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  • Genevieve N. Healy
    Affiliations
    University of Queensland, Cancer Prevention Research Centre, School of Population Health, Brisbane, Australia

    Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, Australia
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  • Neville Owen
    Affiliations
    University of Queensland, Cancer Prevention Research Centre, School of Population Health, Brisbane, Australia

    Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, Australia
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      Background

      Sedentary time (too much sitting, as distinct from lack of exercise) is a prevalent risk to health among older adults.

      Purpose

      Examine the feasibility of an intervention to reduce and break up sedentary time in older adults.

      Design

      A pre-experimental (pre–post) study.

      Setting/participants

      A total of 59 participants aged ≥60 years from Brisbane, Australia. Data were collected between May and December 2009 and analyzed in 2010.

      Intervention

      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.

      Results

      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).

      Conclusions

      Sedentary time in older adults can be reduced following a brief intervention based on goal setting and behavioral self-monitoring.
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