Physical activity, sedentary time and physical capability in early old age: British birth cohort study

Andrew J.M. Cooper, Rebecca K. Simmons, Diana Kuh, Soren Brage, Rachel Cooper, Rebecca Hardy, Mary Pierce, Marcus Richards, Jane Abington, Andrew Wong, Judith E. Adams, Mike Machin, Alison M. Stephens, Kerina Bonar, Susan Bryant, Darren Cole, Wing Nip, Gina Ambrosini, Denis Pellerin, Nishi ChaturvediAlun Hughes, Arjun Ghosh, Katherine March, Peter Macfarlane, Louise Inglis, Peter Friberg, Walter Osika, Ulf Ekelund, Stefanie Mayle, Kate Westgate, John Deanfield, Ann Donald, Sarah Kok, Stefano Masi, Ravneet Phalora, John Woodside, Ian Bruce, Nikki Harwood, Emma Oughton, Alison Chapman, Rajdeep S. Khattar, Satheesh Balakrishnan Nair, Jayne Franklyn, Sue Palmer, Karen Boardman, Nicola Crabtree, Ross Clements, Michael Suvari, Rick Steeds, Kathrine Craig, Emma Howard, Terese Morley, Maurice Scanlon, Rebecca Petit, Wil Evans, Alan Fraser, Julie Edwards, Emma Reece, David Newby, Fiona Marshall, Jim Hannan, Carol Miller, Audrey White, Raymond MacAllister, Joanne Harris, Roldan Singzon, Peter Ell, Caroline Townsend, Camelia Demetrescu, Philip Chowienczyk, Paula Darroch, Karen McNeill, Tim Spector, Gail Clements, Benyu Jiang, Carli Lessof, Hayley Cheshire

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43 Citations (Web of Science)


Purpose: To investigate the associations of time spent sedentary, in moderate-to-vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA) and physical activity energy expenditure (PAEE) with physical capability measures at age 60-64 years. Methods: Time spent sedentary and in MVPA and, PAEE were assessed using individually calibrated combined heart rate and movement sensing among 1727 participants from the MRC National Survey of Health and Development in England, Scotland and Wales as part of a detailed clinical assessment undertaken in 2006-2010. Multivariable linear regression models were used to examine the cross-sectional associations between standardised measures of each of these behavioural variables with grip strength, chair rise and timed up-&-go (TUG) speed and standing balance time. Results: Greater time spent in MVPA was associated with higher levels of physical capability; adjusted mean differences in each capability measure per 1standard deviation increase in MVPA time were: grip strength (0.477 kg, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.015 to 0.939), chair rise speed (0.429 stands/min, 95% CI: 0.093 to 0.764), standing balance time (0.028 s, 95% CI: 0.003 to 0.053) and TUG speed (0.019 m/s, 95% CI: 0.011 to 0.026). In contrast, time spent sedentary was associated with lower grip strength (-0.540 kg, 95% CI: -1.013 to -0.066) and TUG speed (-0.011 m/s, 95% CI: -0.019 to -0.004). Associations for PAEE were similar to those for MVPA. Conclusion: Higher levels of MVPA and overall physical activity (PAEE) are associated with greater levels of physical capability whereas time spent sedentary is associated with lower levels of capability. Future intervention studies in older adults should focus on both the promotion of physical activity and reduction in time spent sedentary.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0126465
Number of pages14
JournalPLoS One
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2015


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