Research Alert

Newswise — Sitting is the new smoking, so goes the adage, but just how much of each day are older adults spending sedentary and is all sitting bad? Research led by McMaster University sheds new light.

According to the study, published on May 16 in PLOS ONE, older adults are sitting for upwards of 12 hours a day, however, most are getting up every hour.

Highlights of the research:

  • The purpose of the study was to understand the types of sedentary behaviours older adults (60 years and older) engage in, when they engage in such behaviours, and why they engage in these behaviours. 
  • Older adults do accumulate between seven to 12 hours of sedentary time throughout the day; however, most participants only accumulated two to three bouts of sedentary time of 60 minutes or more throughout the day.
  • This means that most only people do not sit continuously and get up every hour. Thus, more research is needed to determine how many bouts of sedentary behaviour are associated with negative health outcomes.
  • Some sedentary behaviours are valued for resting, socializing, or daily functioning and should not be targeted in an intervention to decrease sedentary time.


Available for interview:

Isabel B. Rodrigues, first author and CIHR Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Medicine, McMaster University

Contact directly: [email protected]

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