Sedentary Patterns Are Associated with Bone Mineral Density and Physical Function in Older Adults: Cross-Sectional and Prospective Data

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Nov 6;17(21):8198. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17218198.


Aging causes some unfavorable morphological and functional changes, such as the decline in bone mineral density (BMD) and physical function. Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and sedentary time seem to be related with these alterations, but the impact of distinct patterns remains unclear. The aim of this study was to cross-sectionally and prospectively assess the association between objectively measured MVPA and sedentary patterns (bouts and breaks) with BMD and physical function in older adults. The study considered 151 Brazilians (aged ≥ 60 years), out of which 68 participants completed 2-year follow-up measurements. MVPA and sedentary patterns were measured by means of accelerometry, BMD-(total proximal femur and lumbar spine (L1-L4)) by means of dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), and physical function-by means of physical tests. In older women, sedentary bouts >60 min were inversely associated with handgrip strength (β = -2.03, 95% CI: from -3.43 to -0.63). The prospective analyses showed that changes in sedentary bouts (20 to 30 min and >60 min) were inversely associated with changes in the lumbar spine's BMD (β = -0.01, 95% CI: from -0.01 to -0.00 and β = -0.03, 95% CI: from -0.06 to -0.01) and the lumbar spine's T-score (β = -0.06, 95% CI: from -0.10 to -0.01 and β = -0.27, 95% CI: from -0.49 to -0.04), respectively. In older women, sedentary patterns are cross-sectionally associated with handgrip strength and prospectively associated with BMD independent of MVPA.

Keywords: acceleration; bone health; exercise; physical health; sedentary living.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accelerometry
  • Aged
  • Bone Density*
  • Brazil
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Hand Strength
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sedentary Behavior*