Patterns of accelerometer-derived sedentary time across the lifespan

J Sports Sci. 2018 Dec;36(24):2809-2817. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2018.1474537. Epub 2018 May 10.


We aimed to describe ST and its patterns on a national level. A hip-worn accelerometer (ActiGraph GT1M) was used to collect data during waking hours from 4575 Portuguese' participants from 2007-2009 (2683 females) aged 10-102 years old. Data was presented by sex, in 5-years age intervals, and by adolescents (n=2833), adults (n=1122), and older adults (n=620). Lambda-mu-sigma (LMS) smoothed percentile curves were estimated. Girls, women, and older women spent 61, 57, and 64% of wear time in ST, respectively. In males, ST represented 57, 60, and 62% of wear time respectively for boys, men, and older men. Comparing to other age groups, older adults spent a larger amount of ST in bouts ≥30-min (women: 33%, men: 39% of total ST). The number of breaks/ST hour were: 10.6 in girls, 11.7 in women, and 9.6 in older women. In males, the number of breaks/ST hour were: 11.2, 10.5, and 8.5 for boys, men, and older men. In conclusion, ST was not consistently higher at older ages. Instead, we found that the potential critical moments in which ST may be higher are during adolescence and in the transition from adulthood into older adulthood, which represents critical periods for interventions.

Keywords: Sedentary behaviour; adults; bouts in sedentary time; breaks in sedentary time; children.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Accelerometry*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Portugal
  • Sedentary Behavior*
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult