Frailty is associated with objectively assessed sedentary behaviour patterns in older adults: Evidence from the Toledo Study for Healthy Aging (TSHA)

PLoS One. 2017 Sep 11;12(9):e0183911. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0183911. eCollection 2017.


Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the association of sedentary behaviour patterns with frailty in older people.

Setting: Clinical setting.

Design: Cross-sectional, observational study.

Participants and measurements: A triaxial accelerometer was used in a subsample from the Toledo Study for Healthy Aging (519 participants, 67-97 years) to assess several sedentary behaviour patterns including sedentary time per day, the number and duration (min) of breaks in sedentary time per day, and the proportion of the day spent in sedentary bouts of 10 minutes or more. Frailty was assessed using the Frailty Trait Scale (FTS). Regression analysis was used to ascertain the associations between sedentary behaviour patterns and frailty.

Results: Sedentary time per day and the proportion of the day spent in sedentary bouts of 10 minutes or more, were positively associated with frailty in the study sample. Conversely, the time spent in breaks in sedentary time was negatively associated with frailty.

Conclusion: In summary, breaking up sedentary time and time spent in sedentary behaviour are associated with frailty in older people.

MeSH terms

  • Accelerometry
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Exercise
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Sedentary Behavior*
  • Spain

Grants and funding

This work was supported by grants RD12/0043/0026, RD12/0040/0020, RD12/0040/0001 CB16/10/00456, CB16/10/00477, CB16/10/00464, PI15/01305 and PI10/01532, from the Instituto de Salud Carlos III (Ministerio de Economia, Industria y Competitividad), Spain, by Grant FP7-305483-2 from the FP7-Health-2012 Innovation program, European Union and Biomedical Research Networking Center on Frailty and Healthy Aging (CIBERFES) and FEDER funds from the European Union.