A Research Update from the Health Promotion and Wellness Special Interest Group
A New Model for Physical Activity Promotion in Aging Adults:
Addressing Sedentary Behavior
In addition to exercising regularly, there is growing evidence that reducing sedentary behavior (independent of exercise) may play a significant role in reducing chronic diseases such as obesity and diabetes, and minimizing declines in mobility associated with aging. Hence, a new model for physical activity promotion that emphasizes reducing sedentary behavior and increasing time spent doing light-intensity activities, such as standing and walking short distances, has been advocated. Increased sedentary behavior in aging adults may be associated with fatigue and musculoskeletal pain. Physical therapists and assistants possess the expertise needed to help older adults reduce sedentary behavior and engage in more light-intensity activity comfortably.
Following are annotated abstracts of three contemporary articles related to this topic as well as links to the published abstracts (Place your cursor on the title; press CRTL and left click on the mouse). These references are also been posted on the Health Promotion and Wellness Special Interest Group website. Happy reading and please share your interventions for reducing sedentary behavior on the Section on Geriatrics listserv. A goal of the HPW SIG is to develop a database of references pertinent to physical therapy involvement in health promotion and wellness and to generate related discussion.
Reducing Sedentary Behavior: A New Paradigm in Physical Activity Promotion. Marshall S, Ramierz E. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. 2011: 5(6) 518-530.
There is a paucity of literature on interventions to reduce sedentary behavior. The purpose of this article was to propose a 5-phase framework outlining a series of steps for reducing sedentary behavior and ultimately improving public health. The 5 phases include: 1. Research on causal relationships between sedentary behavior and health, 2. Development of valid measurements of sedentary behavior, 3. Identification of modifiable correlates of sedentary behavior, 4. Development of interventions to reduce physical inactivity, and 5. Implementation and evaluation of the effectiveness of proposed interventions.
Addressing the Nonexercise Part of the Activity Continuum: A More Realistic and Achievable Approach to Activity Programming for Adults with Mobility Disability. Manns P, Dunstan D, Own N, Healy G. Physical Therapy, 2012: 92(4): 614-625.
Major purposes of this article are to discuss: (a) what is known about the consequences of sedentary behavior in adults with and without mobility disability (defined as impairments that limit the way adults walk or move within the home or community) and (b) clinical implications related to reducing sedentary behavior in adults with mobility disability. Examples focus on adults with stroke and spinal cord injury.
American College of Sports Medicine Position Stand. Quantity and Quality of Exercise for Developing and Maintaining Cardiorespiratory, Musculoskeletal and Neuromotor Fitness in Apparently Healthy Adults: Guidance for Prescribing Exercise. Garber CE, Blissmer B, Deschenes MR, et al. Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise. 2011: 43(7) 1334-1359.
The purpose of this most recent Position Stand from the American College of Sports Medicine is to help guide health professionals who prescribe individualized exercise to apparently healthy adults of all ages. The ACSM recommends that most adults engage in:
- moderate-intensity aerobic exercise for > 30 min/day on > 5 days/week (totaling 150 min/week), or vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise > 20 min/day on > 3 days/week (totaling to > 75 min/week), or a combination of moderate and vigorous exercise to achieve a total energy expenditure of > 500 to 1000 MET min/week.
- resistance exercise and neuromotor exercise (involving balance and coordination) on 2-3 days/week
- flexibility exercise on > 2 days/week
The ACSM states that the exercise program should be modified according to the individual's physical function, health status, physical activity behaviors, and goals. This Position Stand provides an excellent summary of quantity and quality of scientific evidence on the benefits of physical activity and exercise prescription.
Special thanks to Gina Pariser, PT, PhD and Jen Sidelinker, PT, GCS for developing this research update. Anyone interested in assisting with future updates are welcome to contact Gina Pariser email@example.com.