Background: We examined the relationships between objective and self-reported sedentary time and health indicators among older adults residing in retirement communities.
Methods: Our cross-sectional analysis used data from 307 participants who completed baseline measurements of a physical activity trial in 11 retirement communities in San Diego County. Sedentary time was objectively measured with devices (accelerometers) and using self-reports. Outcomes assessed included emotional and cognitive health, physical function, and physical health (eg, blood pressure). Linear mixed-effects models examined associations between sedentary behavior and outcomes adjusting for demographics and accelerometer physical activity.
Results: Higher device-measured sedentary time was associated with worse objective physical function (Short Physical Performance Battery, balance task scores, 400-m walk time, chair stand time, gait speed), self-reported physical function, and fear of falling but with less sleep disturbance (all ps < .05). TV viewing was positively related to 400-m walk time (p < .05). Self-reported sedentary behavior was related to better performance on one cognitive task (trails A; p < .05).
Conclusions: Sedentary time was mostly related to poorer physical function independently of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and may be a modifiable behavior target in interventions aiming to improve physical function in older adults. Few associations were observed with self-reported sedentary behavior measures.
Keywords: Cognition; Exercise; Falls and mobility problems; Oldest-old; Retirement; Sleep; Well-being.
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