Elderly Women Spend Two-Thirds of Time in Unhealthy
Increasing age and body mass index just make matters
Dec. 17, 2013 - Health experts see sedentary
behavior when the effort does not raise the energy required above your
resting level as a risk factor for poor health. New research on
thousands of senior women finds they spend about two-thirds of their
waking hours in such dangerous behavior.
Most of these minimal activity periods lasted less
than 30 minutes, says a report appearing in the December 18 issue of the
Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
Eric J. Shiroma, M.Ed., M.S., of the Harvard School
of Public Health, Boston, and colleagues examined details of sedentary
behavior among 7,247 older women (average age, 71 years) who were asked
to wear an accelerometer for 7 days during waking hours.
Radiographic imaging exposes relationship between
obesity and cancer in aging population; women with more overall fat
mass, more visceral fat had a higher risk of cancer; fat puts older men
at risk even with healthy BMI
Women wore the accelerometer for an average of 14.8
hours per day. The average percentage of wear time spent in sedentary
behavior was 65.5 percent, equivalent to an average of 9.7 hours per
Total sedentary time increased and the number of
periods of sedentary behavior and breaks per sedentary hour decreased as
age and body mass index increased.
Most sedentary time occurred in periods of shorter
duration. Among the total number of sedentary bouts, the average
percentage of bouts of at least 30 minutes was 4.8 percent, representing
31.5 percent of total sedentary time.
If future studies confirm the health hazards of
sedentary behavior and guidelines are warranted, these data may be
useful to inform recommendations on how to improve such behavior, the
This study was supported by research grants from
the National Institutes of Health
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