What do older people do when sitting and why? Implications for decreasing sedentary behaviour

Victoria J. Palmer, Cindy M. Gray, Claire F. Fitzsimons, Nanette Mutrie, Sally Wyke, Ian J. Deary, Geoff Der, Sebastien F.M. Chastin, Dawn A. Skelton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Purpose:
Sitting less can reduce older adults’ risk of ill health and disability. Effective sedentary behaviour interventions require greater understanding of what older adults do when sitting (and not sitting), and why. This study compares the types, context and role of sitting activities in the daily lives of older men and women who sit more or less than average.

Design and Methods:
Semi-structured interviews with 44 older men and women of different ages, socioeconomic status (SES) and objectively-measured sedentary behaviour were analysed using social practice theory to explore the multifactorial, inter-relational influences on their sedentary behaviour. Thematic frameworks facilitated between-group comparisons.

Results:
Older adults described many different leisure time, household, transport and occupational sitting and non-sitting activities. Leisure time sitting in the home (e.g., watching TV) was most common, but many non-sitting activities, including ‘pottering’ doing household chores, also took place at home. Other people and access to leisure facilities were associated with lower sedentary behaviour. The distinction between being busy/not busy was more important to most participants than sitting/not sitting, and informed their judgements about high-value ‘purposeful’ (social, cognitively active, restorative) sitting and low-value ‘passive’ sitting. Declining physical function contributed to temporal sitting patterns that did not vary much from day-to-day.

Discussion and Implications:
Sitting is associated with cognitive, social and/or restorative benefits, embedded within older adults’ daily routines, and therefore difficult to change. Useful strategies include supporting older adults to engage with other people and local facilities outside the home, and break up periods of passive sitting at home.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)686-697
Number of pages12
JournalThe Gerontologist
Volume59
Issue number4
Early online date15 May 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019

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Leisure Activities
Social Class
Interviews
Health

Keywords

  • sedentary behaviour
  • views
  • older people
  • qualitative
  • social practice model
  • intervention
  • experience

Cite this

Palmer, Victoria J. ; Gray, Cindy M. ; Fitzsimons, Claire F. ; Mutrie, Nanette ; Wyke, Sally ; Deary, Ian J. ; Der, Geoff ; Chastin, Sebastien F.M. ; Skelton, Dawn A. / What do older people do when sitting and why? Implications for decreasing sedentary behaviour. In: The Gerontologist. 2019 ; Vol. 59, No. 4. pp. 686-697.
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abstract = "Purpose:Sitting less can reduce older adults’ risk of ill health and disability. Effective sedentary behaviour interventions require greater understanding of what older adults do when sitting (and not sitting), and why. This study compares the types, context and role of sitting activities in the daily lives of older men and women who sit more or less than average.Design and Methods:Semi-structured interviews with 44 older men and women of different ages, socioeconomic status (SES) and objectively-measured sedentary behaviour were analysed using social practice theory to explore the multifactorial, inter-relational influences on their sedentary behaviour. Thematic frameworks facilitated between-group comparisons.Results:Older adults described many different leisure time, household, transport and occupational sitting and non-sitting activities. Leisure time sitting in the home (e.g., watching TV) was most common, but many non-sitting activities, including ‘pottering’ doing household chores, also took place at home. Other people and access to leisure facilities were associated with lower sedentary behaviour. The distinction between being busy/not busy was more important to most participants than sitting/not sitting, and informed their judgements about high-value ‘purposeful’ (social, cognitively active, restorative) sitting and low-value ‘passive’ sitting. Declining physical function contributed to temporal sitting patterns that did not vary much from day-to-day.Discussion and Implications:Sitting is associated with cognitive, social and/or restorative benefits, embedded within older adults’ daily routines, and therefore difficult to change. Useful strategies include supporting older adults to engage with other people and local facilities outside the home, and break up periods of passive sitting at home.",
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Palmer, VJ, Gray, CM, Fitzsimons, CF, Mutrie, N, Wyke, S, Deary, IJ, Der, G, Chastin, SFM & Skelton, DA 2019, 'What do older people do when sitting and why? Implications for decreasing sedentary behaviour', The Gerontologist, vol. 59, no. 4, pp. 686-697. https://doi.org/10.1093/geront/gny020

What do older people do when sitting and why? Implications for decreasing sedentary behaviour. / Palmer, Victoria J.; Gray, Cindy M.; Fitzsimons, Claire F.; Mutrie, Nanette; Wyke, Sally; Deary, Ian J.; Der, Geoff; Chastin, Sebastien F.M.; Skelton, Dawn A.

In: The Gerontologist, Vol. 59, No. 4, 08.2019, p. 686-697.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - What do older people do when sitting and why? Implications for decreasing sedentary behaviour

AU - Palmer, Victoria J.

AU - Gray, Cindy M.

AU - Fitzsimons, Claire F.

AU - Mutrie, Nanette

AU - Wyke, Sally

AU - Deary, Ian J.

AU - Der, Geoff

AU - Chastin, Sebastien F.M.

AU - Skelton, Dawn A.

N1 - Acceptance in SAN AAM requested; sought confirmation of version from author 210518 DC. OA article linked to Seniors USP In Enlighten: http://eprints.gla.ac.uk/158032/

PY - 2019/8

Y1 - 2019/8

N2 - Purpose:Sitting less can reduce older adults’ risk of ill health and disability. Effective sedentary behaviour interventions require greater understanding of what older adults do when sitting (and not sitting), and why. This study compares the types, context and role of sitting activities in the daily lives of older men and women who sit more or less than average.Design and Methods:Semi-structured interviews with 44 older men and women of different ages, socioeconomic status (SES) and objectively-measured sedentary behaviour were analysed using social practice theory to explore the multifactorial, inter-relational influences on their sedentary behaviour. Thematic frameworks facilitated between-group comparisons.Results:Older adults described many different leisure time, household, transport and occupational sitting and non-sitting activities. Leisure time sitting in the home (e.g., watching TV) was most common, but many non-sitting activities, including ‘pottering’ doing household chores, also took place at home. Other people and access to leisure facilities were associated with lower sedentary behaviour. The distinction between being busy/not busy was more important to most participants than sitting/not sitting, and informed their judgements about high-value ‘purposeful’ (social, cognitively active, restorative) sitting and low-value ‘passive’ sitting. Declining physical function contributed to temporal sitting patterns that did not vary much from day-to-day.Discussion and Implications:Sitting is associated with cognitive, social and/or restorative benefits, embedded within older adults’ daily routines, and therefore difficult to change. Useful strategies include supporting older adults to engage with other people and local facilities outside the home, and break up periods of passive sitting at home.

AB - Purpose:Sitting less can reduce older adults’ risk of ill health and disability. Effective sedentary behaviour interventions require greater understanding of what older adults do when sitting (and not sitting), and why. This study compares the types, context and role of sitting activities in the daily lives of older men and women who sit more or less than average.Design and Methods:Semi-structured interviews with 44 older men and women of different ages, socioeconomic status (SES) and objectively-measured sedentary behaviour were analysed using social practice theory to explore the multifactorial, inter-relational influences on their sedentary behaviour. Thematic frameworks facilitated between-group comparisons.Results:Older adults described many different leisure time, household, transport and occupational sitting and non-sitting activities. Leisure time sitting in the home (e.g., watching TV) was most common, but many non-sitting activities, including ‘pottering’ doing household chores, also took place at home. Other people and access to leisure facilities were associated with lower sedentary behaviour. The distinction between being busy/not busy was more important to most participants than sitting/not sitting, and informed their judgements about high-value ‘purposeful’ (social, cognitively active, restorative) sitting and low-value ‘passive’ sitting. Declining physical function contributed to temporal sitting patterns that did not vary much from day-to-day.Discussion and Implications:Sitting is associated with cognitive, social and/or restorative benefits, embedded within older adults’ daily routines, and therefore difficult to change. Useful strategies include supporting older adults to engage with other people and local facilities outside the home, and break up periods of passive sitting at home.

KW - sedentary behaviour

KW - views

KW - older people

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KW - social practice model

KW - intervention

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U2 - 10.1093/geront/gny020

DO - 10.1093/geront/gny020

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JO - The Gerontologist

JF - The Gerontologist

SN - 0016-9013

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