Associations between objectively measured physical activity, sedentary behaviour and time in bed among 75+ community-dwelling Danish older adults

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  • Li Tang Tsai, University of Southern Denmark
  • ,
  • Eleanor Boyle, University of Southern Denmark
  • ,
  • Jan C. Brønd, University of Southern Denmark
  • ,
  • Gry Kock, University of Southern Denmark
  • ,
  • Mathias Skjødt, University of Southern Denmark
  • ,
  • Lars G. Hvid
  • Paolo Caserotti, University of Southern Denmark

Background: Older adults are recommended to sleep 7–8 h/day. Time in bed (TIB) differs from sleep duration and includes also the time of lying in bed without sleeping. Long TIB (≥9 h) are associated with self-reported sedentary behavior, but the association between objectively measured physical activity, sedentary behavior and TIB is unknown. Methods: This study was based on cross-sectional analysis of the Healthy Ageing Network of Competence (HANC Study). Physical activity and sedentary behaviour were measured by a tri-axial accelerometer (ActiGraph) placed on the dominant wrist for 7 days. Sedentary behavior was classified as < 2303 counts per minute (cpm) in vector magnitude and physical activity intensities were categorized, as 2303–4999 and ≥ 5000 cpm in vector magnitude. TIB was recorded in self-reported diaries. Participants were categorized as UTIB (usually having TIB 7–9 h/night: ≥80% of measurement days), STIB (sometimes having TIB 7–9 h/night: 20–79% of measurement days), and RTIB (rarely having TIB 7–9 h/night: < 20% of measurement days). Multinominal regression models were used to calculate the relative risk ratios (RRR) of being RTIB and STIB by daily levels of physical activity and SB, with UTIB as the reference group. The models were adjusted for age, sex, average daily nap length and physical function. Results: Three hundred and fourty-one older adults (median age 81 (IQR 5), 62% women) were included with median TIB of 8 h 21 min (1 h 10 min)/day, physical activity level of 2054 (864) CPM with 64 (15) % of waking hours in sedentary behavior. Those with average CPM within the highest tertile had a lower RRR (0.33 (0.15–0.71), p = 0.005) for being RTIB compared to those within the lowest tertile of average CPM. Accumulating physical activity in intensities 2303–4999 and ≥ 5000 cpm/day did not affect the RRR of being RTIB. RRR of being RTIB among highly sedentary participants (≥10 h/day of sedentary behavior) more than tripled compared to those who were less sedentary (3.21 (1.50–6.88), p = 0.003). Conclusions: For older adults, being physically active and less sedentary was associated with being in bed for 7–9 h/night for most nights (≥80%). Future longitudinal studies are warranted to explore the causal relationship sbetween physical activity and sleep duration.

Original languageEnglish
Article number53
JournalBMC Geriatrics
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

    Research areas

  • Accelerometer, Aging, Mobility, Physical activity

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