High levels of sedentary behavior may increase the risk of death for frail adults aged 50 and older who have low levels of physical activity, a new study suggests.
Researchers find that prolonged sitting raises the risk of death for frail, inactive adults.
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americansstate that adults aged 18 to 64 and those aged 65 and older should aim to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity every week.
For adults who are unable to meet these guidelines, it is recommended that “they should be as physically active as their abilities and conditions allow.”
According to statistics from the 2016 National Health Interview Survey, just 44.9 percent of older adults aged 65 to 74 met the physical activity guidelines last year.
What is more, previous research has shown that older adults spend more than 9 hours of their day sitting down.
The harms of sedentary behavior have been well documented. A study reported by Medical News Today last year, for example, suggested that sitting for more than 3 hours daily is responsible for more than 430,000 deaths across 54 countries every year.
For this latest study, Dr. Olga Theou, of the Department of Medicine at Dalhousie University in Canada, and colleagues set out to determine whether or not frailty plays a role in the increased death risk associated with sedentary behavior.
The results were recently reported in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. The study included the data of 3,141 adults aged 50 and older who participated in the 2003-2004 and 2005-2006 United States National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
As part of the survey, subjects were required to wear activity trackers during waking hours, and the researchers used these data to calculate how much time each adults spent sedentary.
The team also used a 46-item index to assess the frailty of each subject. Frailty is generally definedas an aging-related process characterized by weakness, unintended weight loss, slowness, and fatigue.