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Sedentary Behaviors Among Older Women

Women We know that regular exercise can provide a variety of significant benefits. However, a recent study has discovered that older women have not been inspired to become more active.

Published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (2013: 310 [23], 2562– 63), the study included 7,247 women (average age, 71). Each participant was given an accelerometer to wear for 7 days. The women were then asked to complete a diary detailing which days they wore the accelerometers and for how long.

“A bout of sedentary behavior was defined as consecutive minutes in which the accelerometer registered less than 100 counts per minute,”
the authors explained. “A break in sedentary behavior was defined as at least 1 minute in which counts registered at least 100 following a sedentary bout.”

Data analysis showed that the women wore their accelerometers for an average of 14.8 hours a day for nearly 7 days. About 65.5% of that time—around 9.7 hours—was spent in sedentary behavior.

“The mean (SD) number of sedentary bouts per day was 85.9, with 9.0 breaks per sedentary hour,” the authors also noted. “Adjusting for wear time and smoking status, total sedentary time increased and the number of bouts and breaks per sedentary hour decreased as age and BMI increased.”

Do you work with older women? How do you encourage them to increase their physical activity levels? We want to hear about it. Send your responses to [email protected] fit.com, and they might be featured in an upcoming issue of IDEA Fitness Journal.

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