Select Page

Read the artical and answer the question Sparling, P. B., Howard, B. J., Dunstan, D. W., & Owen, N. (2015). Recommendations for physical activity in older adults. BMJ: British Medical Journal (Online), 350.Answer the following questions based on the evidence presented in the research article above.Describe the relationship between sedentary time and health Describe the relationship between Physical Activity and Health Describe the typical Physical Activity Guideline Why do the authors emphasize the US NHANES 2003-2006 data over the previously published papers on physical activity habits? What is new about the NHANES data? What is the US trend for average daily sedentary time observed in different age groups? What percentage of the population meets aerobic physical activity guidelines in the US and UK? Chau JY, Grunseit AC, Chey T, Stamatakis E, Brown WJ, Matthews CE, et al. Daily sitting time and all-cause mortality: A meta-analysis. PLoS One 2013;8:e80000. How is Chau and colleagues work referenced in the Sparling article? Powell KE, Paluch AE, Blair SN. Physical activity for health: What kind? How much? How intense? On top of what? Annu Rev Public Health 2011;32:349-65. How is Powell and colleagues work referenced in the Sparling article? How might healthcare practitioners change their approach to improve physical activity in patients? What evidence is there for the efficacy of these approaches? Look at the figure at the end of the article. Discuss the data you find presented. Come up with a test question based on the data in the figure.

Unformatted Attachment Preview

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
Recommendations for physical activity in Older Adults questions
Just from $10/Page
Order Essay

BMJ 2015;350:h100 doi: 10.1136/bmj.h100 (Published 21 January 2015)
Page 1 of 5
Recommendations for physical activity in older adults
Older adults find it difficult to meet moderate and vigorous exercise targets. Given that a
dose-response exists for physical activity and health benefits, Phillip B Sparling and colleagues
argue that a change in message to reduce sedentary time and increase light activities may prove
more realistic and pave the way to more intense exercise
Phillip B Sparling professor , Bethany J Howard doctoral candidate , David W Dunstan professor ,
Neville Owen professor
School of Applied Physiology, 555 14th Street NW, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA; 2Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes
Institute, Melbourne, VIC, Australia; 3University of Western Australia, Monash and Deakin Universities, Australia; 4University of Queensland, Monash
and Melbourne Universities, Australia
Over the past decade, research has increased our understanding
of the effects of physical activity at opposite ends of the
spectrum. Sedentary behaviour—too much sitting—has been
shown to increase risk of chronic disease, particularly diabetes
and cardiovascular disease.1 2 There is now a clear need to reduce
prolonged sitting. Secondly, evidence on the potential of high
intensity interval training in managing the same chronic diseases,
as well as reducing indices of cardiometabolic risk in healthy
adults, has emerged.3 4 This vigorous training typically comprises
multiple 3-4 minute bouts of high intensity exercise interspersed
with several minutes of low intensity recovery, three times a
Between these two extremes of the activity spectrum is the
mainstream public health recommendation for aerobic exercise,
which is similar in many developed countries.5-9 The suggested
target for older adults (≥65) is the same as for other adults
(18-64): 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity activity in
bouts of 10 minutes or more. It is often expressed as 30 minutes
of brisk walking or equivalent activity five days a week,
although 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity spread across
the week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity
are sometimes suggested. Physical activity to improve strength
should also be done at least two days a week. The 150 minute
target is widely disseminated to health professionals and the
public. However, many people, especially in older age groups,
find it hard to achieve this level of activity. We argue that when
advising patients on exercise doctors should encourage people
to increase their level of activity by small amounts rather than
focus on the recommended levels.
The 150 minute target, although warranted, may overshadow
other less concrete elements of guidelines. These include finding
ways to do more lower intensity lifestyle activity. As people
get older, activity may become more relevant for sustaining the
strength, flexibility, and balance required for independent
living6-9 in addition to the strong associations with hypertension,
coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, breast cancer, and colon
cancer. Observational data have confirmed associations between
increased physical activity and reduction in musculoskeletal
conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, and sarcopenia, and
better cognitive acuity and mental health.8-11 Although these
links may be modest and some lack evidence of causality, they
may provide sufficient incentives for many people to be more
Research into physical activity
Until recently, we have not been able to measure physical
activity accurately, which has limited the quality of evidence.
Measurement used to rely solely on interviews and
questionnaires, which are prone to error because of factors such
as poor recall and tendency to answer questions in a manner
that will be viewed favourably. Accelerometers have made more
objective measurement of physical activity possible. They are
particularly helpful for recording light activity, which may be
ubiquitous, interspersed throughout the day, and thus more
difficult to recall accurately than vigorous or formal activity or
The US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
(NHANES; 2003 and 2006) contains accelerometer count data
for around 7000 adults aged 20 to 79.12 Building on previous
analyses,13 14 we calculated average daily time accumulated (not
single sessions) in sedentary behaviour and physical activity of
differing intensities (table⇓).
Physical activity, sedentary behaviour,
and age
The figure⇓ shows daily time spent sedentary and in moderate
and vigorous physical activity by age. It highlights the low levels
Correspondence to: P B Sparling [email protected]
For personal use only: See rights and reprints
BMJ 2015;350:h100 doi: 10.1136/bmj.h100 (Published 21 January 2015)
Page 2 of 5
of moderate and vigorous physical activity across all ages and
the decline in higher intensity activities with increasing age.
Only in the youngest adult age group is the average level above
30 minutes a day. The proportions of time spent sedentary rises
with age: from 55% (7.7 hours) at 20-29 years, to 67% (9.6
hours) in those aged 70-79 years. As so little time is spent in
moderate and vigorous activities, the higher sedentary time in
older adults reflects less time spent in light activity.
Similar results were reported in a large study of older adults in
the UK.16 Collectively, these accelerometer findings from the
US and UK indicate that, even when exercise intensity is
adjusted for age related decline in physical capacity, only some
10-15% of free living, older adults are meeting the minimum
standard for “sufficient activity” (>150 min/week of moderate
intensity activity).16 17
Changing emphasis on physical activity
in older adults
Although advocates of brief vigorous exercise training promote
its time efficiency, real world considerations may prevent many
people from doing it. For example, inexperience with intense
physical effort, associated fatigue and soreness, risk of injury
and medical complications, limited availability of facilities and
specialised equipment, and costs of classes and coaching can
all act as barriers.19 The mainstream moderate intensity
prescription seems more achievable, but a 150 minute target
may still be too high for many older adults.
Focusing on the 150 minute recommendation may mean that
the benefits of lesser amounts of exercise are overlooked. The
report on physical activity for health from the UK’s chief
medical officers8 states “the majority of UK older adults have
low levels of activity so it is important to emphasise that they
can achieve some health benefits from increasing their activity
even if it is below the recommendation.” Similarly, advice on
prescribing exercise from the American College of Sports
Medicine notes, “Adults who are unable or unwilling to meet
exercise targets can still benefit from engaging in amounts of
exercise less than recommended.”9
A recent meta-analysis suggests that risk of death increases
significantly when adults sit for more than seven hours a day.18
However, the authors state that until more conclusive evidence
is available, recommendations should continue to be broad—that
is, advise adults to sit less and to break up sitting time
throughout the day, in addition to adhering to the mainstream
physical activity guidelines.18
Lowering the goal post is not simply a response to the low
proportion of adults engaging in “sufficient exercise.” Rather,
it is based on the dose-response relation between physical
activity and health.8-10 A review in the Annual Review of Public
Health concluded that health benefits begin with any increase
above the very lowest levels of activity; the greatest health and
functional benefits are found for increments in activity within
the lower end of the overall spectrum, where adults are not
achieving the mainstream moderate intensity prescription.10
Recent experimental studies support this finding. For example,
postprandial glucose and insulin responses were attenuated when
sitting was interrupted with periods of standing and light
walking.20 21 In addition, a recently published analysis from the
English Longitudinal Study of Ageing indicates that physical
activity of a lower intensity or smaller amount than the 150
minutes a week recommendation may provide worthwhile health
benefits for physically inactive adults.22
For personal use only: See rights and reprints
Certainly, much more research is needed, particularly
experimental and longitudinal studies using accelerometry to
answer questions about benefits provided and characteristics of
dose required at the low end of the spectrum.23 Nonetheless,
official documents advise, and recent evidence supports a day
long approach to increasing activity and reducing sedentary
behaviour. For older adults this can be the starting point on
which to build.
Changing conversations with patients
Recommendations could focus on reducing sedentary behaviour
by introducing light activity throughout the day. This focus
would contain two messages: to sit less and move more.
Healthcare practitioners could negotiate how this might
happen—for example, increase time in light activities by 30
minutes a day and reduce prolonged sitting by standing or
strolling for 1-2 minutes at least once an hour. This approach
may be especially relevant for patients who are retired, as
employment seems to be an important driver for physical activity
in middle aged and older people.24
Advice on how to accumulate time spent in light activity could
include getting up from the chair and moving during television
commercial breaks, pacing when on the phone, adding gentle
five minute walks throughout the day (eg, mid-morning,
mid-day, mid-afternoon), and walking rather than driving for
short trips. Brief interventions using goal setting and self
monitoring have been shown to produce modest decreases in
sedentary time.25 26
Adopting such small, incremental changes may better position
sedentary patients to add or transition to brief bouts of moderate
intensity activity as well as muscle strengthening and balance
activities. This approach is not limited by income, education,
or time available for leisure.
Would this approach work?
Research into the effect of promoting reduced sedentary
behaviour and increasing light activities is lacking. We need to
know more about whether adopting light intensity exercise
improves health or function, is easier to achieve than higher
intensity activity, or leads to more intense activity.
Evidence on the effectiveness of promoting more intense
physical activity in primary care is also inconclusive.27-29
However, a recent assessment of research literature and existing
data found that brief counselling can be an efficient and cost
effective means to increase physical activity and realise clinical
benefits for various patient groups.29 Most studies are limited
by reliance on self report and by the definition of success as
having achieved the consensus recommendation. So,
participation in more modest levels of activity, along with their
benefits, may not be recognised.
In developed countries, adults at age 60 can expect to live
another 20-25 years and will have several consultations with
their general practitioners every year. Health practitioners could
assess physical activity or exercise at every visit, discuss realistic
options, set specific goals, and provide support and follow-up;
each of these has been found to increase the likelihood of
compliance.29-31 Changes in risk factors, functional capabilities,
and general wellbeing can then be tracked.
We are not proposing that the 150 minute a week standard be
abandoned. Rather, our purpose is to remind colleagues that a
broad perspective to counselling is already embedded in the
guidelines and that a whole day approach for older sedentary
BMJ 2015;350:h100 doi: 10.1136/bmj.h100 (Published 21 January 2015)
Page 3 of 5
patients may help them move towards the recommended activity
BJH was supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council
/National Heart Foundation postgraduate scholarship # 1056320. DWD
was supported by Australian Research Council future fellowship #FT
100100918. NO was supported by NHMRC programme grant #569940
and NHMRC senior principal research fellowship #1003960. BJH, DWD,
and NO were also supported by the Victorian Government’s operational
infrastructure support programme.
Competing interests: All authors have read and understood BMJ policy
on declaration of interests and have no relevant interests to declare.
Contributors and sources: PBS, DWD, and NO are physical activity and
health researchers from exercise physiology in behavioural science;
BJH is a PhD student whose research is on sedentary behaviour, light
intensity activity health. This article resulted from discussions during
PBS’s study leave at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute and
builds on recent findings from population-based studies and intervention
trials. All authors made substantial contributions to the conception, data
analysis, and development of this article, including work on multiple
revisions and giving final approval; PBS is the guarantor for the article
Van der Ploeg HP, Chey T, Korda RJ, Banks E, Bauman A. Sitting time and all-cause
mortality risk in 222 497 Australian adults. Arch Intern Med 2012;172:494-500.
Wilmot EG, Edwardson CL, Achana FA, Davies MJ, Gorely T, Gray LJ, et al. Sedentary
time in adults and the association with diabetes, cardiovascular disease and death:
systematic review and meta-analysis. Diabetologia 2012;55:2895-905.
Gibala MJ, Little JP, Macdonald MJ, Hawley JA. Physiological adaptations to low-volume,
high-intensity interval training in health and disease. J Physiol 2012;590:1077-84.
Weston KS, Wisloff U, Coombes JS. High-intensity interval training in patients with
lifestyle-induced cardiometabolic disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Br J
Sports Med 2014;48:1227-34.
Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee. Physical activity guidelines for Americans.
US Department of Health and Human Services, 2008.
American College of Sports Medicine, Chodzko-Zajko WJ, Proctor DN, Fiatarone Singh
MA, Minson CT, Nigg CR, et al. American College of Sports Medicine position stand.
Exercise and physical activity for older adults. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2009;41:1510-30.
World Health Organization. Global recommendations on physical activity for health. WHO,
Department of Health. Start active, stay active: a report on physical activity from the four
home countries chief medical officers. 2011.
Garber CE, Blissmer B, Deschenes MR, Franklin BA, Lamonte MJ, Lee IM, et al. 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. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2011;43:1334-59.
Powell KE, Paluch AE, Blair SN. Physical activity for health: What kind? How much? How
intense? On top of what? Annu Rev Public Health 2011;32:349-65.
For personal use only: See rights and reprints
Broskey NT, Greggio C, Boss A, Boutant M, Dwyer A, Schlueter L, et al. Skeletal muscle
mitochondria in the elderly: effects of physical fitness and exercise training. J Clin
Endocrinol Metab 2014;99:1852-61.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National health and nutrition examination
survey data. CDC, 2011.
Matthews CE, Chen KY, Freedson PS, Buchowski MS, Beech BM, Pate RR, et al. Amount
of time spent in sedentary behaviors in the United States, 2003-2004. Am J Epidemiol
Tudor-Locke C, Camhi SM, Troiano RP. A catalog of rules, variables, and definitions
applied to accelerometer data in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey,
2003-2006. Prev Chronic Dis 2012;9:E113.
Freedson PS, Melanson E, Sirard J. Calibration of the Computer Science and Applications
Inc accelerometer. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1998;30:777-81.
Jefferis BJ, Sartini C, Lee IM, Choi M, Amuzu A, Gutierrez C, et al. Adherence to physical
activity guidelines in older adults, using objectively measured physical activity in a
population-based study. BMC Public Health 2014;14:382.
Tucker JM, Welk GJ, Beyler NK. Physical activity in US: adults’ compliance with the
physical activity guidelines for Americans. Am J Prev Med 2011;40:454-61.
Chau JY, Grunseit AC, Chey T, Stamatakis E, Brown WJ, Matthews CE, et al. Daily sitting
time and all-cause mortality: A meta-analysis. PLoS One 2013;8:e80000.
Lunt H, Draper N, Marshall HC, Logan FJ, Hamlin MJ, Shearman JP, et al. High intensity
interval training in a real world setting: a randomized controlled feasibility study in
overweight inactive adults, measuring change in maximal oxygen uptake. PLoS One
Dunstan DW, Kingwell BA, Larsen R, Healy GN, Cerin E, Hamilton MT, et al. Breaking
up prolonged sitting reduces postprandial glucose and insulin responses. Diabetes Care
Thorp AA, Kingwell BA, Sethi P, Hammond L, Owen N, Dunstan DW. Alternating bouts
of sitting and standing attenuate postprandial glucose responses. Med Sci Sports Exerc
Hamer M, de Oliveira C, Demakakos P. Non-exercise physical activity and survival: English
longitudinal study of ageing. Am J Prev Med 2014:47;452-60.
Boyington JI, Joseph L, Fielding R, Pate RR. Sedentary behavior research
priorities-NHLBI/NIA sedentary behavior workshop summary. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2014
Sep 12. [Epub ahead of print].
Schrack JA, Zipunnikov V, Goldsmith J, Bai J, Simonsick EM, Crainiceanu C, et al.
Assessing the “physical cliff”: detailed quantification of age-related differences in daily
patterns of physical activity. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2014;69:973-9.
Gardiner PA, Eakin EG, Healy GN, Owen N. Feasibility of reducing older adults’ sedentary
time. Am J Prev Med 2011;41:174-7.
Aadahl M, Linneberg A, Møller TC, et al. Motivational counseling to reduce sitting time:
a community-based randomized controlled trial in adults. Am J Prev Med 2014;47:576-86.
Orrow G, Kinmonth AL, Sanderson S, Sutton S. Effectiveness of physical activity promotion
based in primary care: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled
trials. BMJ 2012;344:e1389.
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Guide to clinical preventive services,
recommendations of the US Preventive Services Task Force. AHRQ, 2012.
Vuori IM, Lavie CJ, Blair SN. Physical activity promotion in the health care system. Mayo
Clin Proc 2013;88:1446-61.
Khan KM, Weiler R, Blair SN. Prescribing exercise in primary care. BMJ 2011;343:d4141.
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Physical activity: brief advice for adults
in primary care. NICE public health guidance 2013;44.
Accepted: 10 December 2014
Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h100
© BMJ Publishing Group Ltd 2015
BMJ 2015;350:h100 doi: 10.1136/bmj.h100 (Published 21 January 2015)
Page 4 of 5
Key messages
Health and functional benefits begin with any increase above the lowest levels of activity; some activity is better than none
New guidelines now advise interspersing prolonged sitting with short bouts of standing and light activity
Small increases in activity may enable some older patients to incorporate more moderate activity and thus get closer to the recommended
150 minutes a week
Table 1| Defi …
Purchase answer to see full

Order your essay today and save 10% with the discount code ESSAYHSELP