Attitudes to ageing and objectively-measured sedentary and walking behaviour in older people: the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936

Catharine R. Gale, Iva Cukic, Sebastien F. Chastin, Philippa M. Dall, Manon L. Dontje, Dawn A. Skelton, Ian J. Deary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
87 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Prolonged sitting and low activity—both common in older people--are associated with increased mortality and poorer health. Whether having a more negative attitude to ageing is associated with higher levels of these behaviours is unclear.
Objective: We investigated the prospective relationship between attitudes to ageing and objectively measured sedentary and walking behaviour.
Methods: Participants were 271 members of the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936. At age 72 years, participants completed the Attitudes to Ageing Questionnaire which assesses attitudes on three domains--Psychosocial loss, Physical change and Psychological growth. At age 79 years, participants wore an activPAL activity monitor for seven days. The outcome measures were average daily time spent sedentary, number of sit-to-stand transitions, and step count.
Results: There were no significant associations between any of the Attitude to Ageing domain scores and time spent sedentary or number of sit-to-stand transitions. In sex-adjusted analysis, having a more positive attitude to ageing as regards Physical change was associated with a slightly higher daily step count, for a SD increment in score, average daily step count was greater by 1.5% (95% CI 0.6%, 2.4%). On further adjustment for potential confounding factors these associations were no longer significant.
Conclusion: We found no evidence that attitudes to ageing at age 72 were predictive of sedentary or walking behaviour seven years later. Future studies should examine whether attitudes to ageing are associated with objectively measured walking or sedentary behaviour at the same point in time. The existence of such an association could inform the development of interventions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 16 May 2018


  • ageing
  • sedentary behaviour
  • walking
  • older people

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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