Comparison of Summer and Winter Objectively Measured Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior in Older Adults: Age, Gene/Environment Susceptibility Reykjavik Study

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2017 Oct 21;14(10):1268. doi: 10.3390/ijerph14101268.


In Iceland, there is a large variation in daylight between summer and winter. The aim of the study was to identify how this large variation influences physical activity (PA) and sedentary behavior (SB). Free living PA was measured by a waist-worn accelerometer for one week during waking hours in 138 community-dwelling older adults (61.1% women, 80.3 ± 4.9 years) during summer and winter months. In general, SB occupied about 75% of the registered wear-time and was highly correlated with age (β = 0.36). Although the differences were small, more time was spent during the summer in all PA categories, except for the moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA), and SB was reduced. More lifestyle PA (LSPA) was accumulated in ≥5-min bouts during summer than winter, especially among highly active participants. This information could be important for policy makers and health professionals working with older adults. Accounting for seasonal difference is necessary in analyzing SB and PA data.

Keywords: accelerometer; aging; physical activity; seasonal.

MeSH terms

  • Accelerometry
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iceland
  • Independent Living / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Seasons*
  • Sedentary Behavior*