Sitting time carries cardiometabolic risk even in active seniors
Even in an extremely active older adult population, the more time spent sedentary, the higher the risk of metabolic syndrome, according to a study.
A total of 54 older adults (mean age, 71.4 years; 30 women) participated in the study. These participants were all from a ski team undergoing organized group training. They wore accelerometers for a week to measure daily activity levels.
At baseline, the mean continuous metabolic syndrome risk score (cMSy) was 0.13, which was similar to those found in previous studies of adults aged 18–75 years. They were sedentary for a mean of 9.7 hours per day (defined as sedentary behavior when not laying on the back). They were quite active, however, performing light activities an average of 3.9 hours per day and moderate/vigorous activity an average of 2.6 hours per day. These added up to spending at least an average of 6.5 hours per day not engaged in sedentary behavior.
When looking at cardiometabolic risk, participants at high vs low risk (upper vs lower half of cMSy) engaged in less moderate/vigorous activity (2.2 vs 2.9 hours; p=0.041), spent greater time being sedentary (10.1 vs 8.7 hours; p=0.002), and had lower step number (9,891 vs 11,777 steps per day; p=0.048).
To determine proportion of the time spent sedentary as compared with all other nonsedentary behaviours (isometric log-ratio transformation for time spent sedentary [ILR1]), a compositional approach was used. Results revealed ILR1 to be significantly associated with increasing cMSy (p=0.002), independent of age and biological sex.
The present data highlight the importance of further assessment of sedentary behaviors even among very active older adults in order to reduce time spent sitting and improve their cardiometabolic risk.