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Sedentary Time Linked to Activities of Daily Living Disability

For older adults, sedentary time ups odds of ADL disability, independent of moderate-vigorous activity

FRIDAY, Feb. 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For older U.S. adults, time spent in sedentary activity is associated with disability in activities of daily living (ADL), according to a study published online Feb. 19 in the Journal of Physical Activity & Health.

Dorothy Dunlop, Ph.D., from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, and colleagues extracted data from nationally representative 2003 to 2005 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys for 2,286 adults aged 60 years or older. The authors sought to examine the correlation between time spent in sedentary behavior and ADL disability.

The researchers found that, during waking hours, the sample spent almost nine hours per day being sedentary, and 3.6 percent reported ADL disability. For each daily hour spent in sedentary behavior, the odds of ADL disability were 46 percent greater (odds ratio, 1.46) after adjustment for moderate-vigorous activity, socioeconomic, and health factors.

"These U.S. national data show a strong relationship between greater time spent in sedentary behavior and the presence of ADL disability, independent of time spent in moderate or vigorous activity," the authors write. "These findings support programs encouraging older adults to decrease sedentary behavior regardless of their engagement in moderate or vigorous activity."

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