During working years, older adults may have spent several hours of their days sitting at desks, but retirement can also lead to a lack of physical activity.
A recent study published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health found that seniors who sit for extended periods of time each day are more likely to be disabled, regardless of how much time they spend being active.
Researchers collected information from 2,286 men and women older than the age of 60 who wore physical activity-measuring devices for at least four days. They also underwent physical exams. Individuals were considered disabled if they couldn't perform self-care tasks alone such as getting dressed. The team found out that the participants were awake for an average of 14 hours and spent nine of those sitting or not moving. After adjusting for age, health, wealth and amount of time spent on moderate to vigorous physical activity, investigators discovered that every hour of sitting was associated with a 46 percent higher risk of having a disability.
However, the authors can't state whether a sedentary lifestyle leads to disability.
Senior care services can help older adults become more active during their day by engaging them in physical therapy or exercise programs in addition to helping them move around easier.