Associations of Sedentary and Physically-Active Behaviors With Cognitive-Function Decline in Community-Dwelling Older Adults: Compositional Data Analysis From the NEIGE Study

J Epidemiol. 2020 Nov 5;30(11):503-508. doi: 10.2188/jea.JE20190141. Epub 2019 Oct 26.


Background: Physical activity can help to protect against cognitive decline in older adults. However, little is known about the potential combined relationships of time spent in sedentary behavior (SB), light-intensity physical activity (LPA), and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) with indices of cognitive health. We examined the cross-sectional associations of objectively-determined sedentary and physically-active behaviors with an indicator of cognitive function decline (CFD) in older adults.

Methods: A randomly-recruited sample of 511 Japanese older adults (47% male; aged 65-84 years) wore a tri-axial accelerometer for 7 consecutive days in 2017. Cognitive function was assessed by interviewers using the Japanese version of Mini-Mental State Examination, with a score of ≤23 indicating CFD. Associations of sedentary and physically-active behaviors with CFD were examined using a compositional logistic regression analysis based on isometric log-ratio transformations of time use, adjusting for potential confounders.

Results: Forty one (9.4%) of the participants had an indication of CFD. Activity compositions differed significantly between CFD and normal cognitive function (NCF); the proportion of time spent in MVPA was 39.1% lower, relative to the overall mean composition in those with CFD, and was 5.3% higher in those with NCF. There was a significant beneficial association of having a higher proportion of MVPA relative to other activities with CFD. LPA and SB were not associated with CFD when models were corrected for time spent in all activity behaviors.

Conclusions: Larger relative contribution of MVPA was favorably associated with an indicator of CFD in older adults.

Keywords: accelerometry; aging; exercise; neurocognitive disorders; sedentary lifestyle.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging*
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / diagnosis
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / epidemiology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Exercise* / physiology
  • Exercise* / psychology
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment / methods
  • Health Behavior / ethnology
  • Humans
  • Independent Living*
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sedentary Behavior*