Bone and Joint Institute

Interventions to address sedentary behaviour for older adults: a scoping review

Document Type


Publication Date



Disability and Rehabilitation

URL with Digital Object Identifier



© 2020, © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Purpose: Sedentary behaviour is associated with increased risk for lower health status and all-cause mortality. Older adults spend up to 75%, on average, of their day sedentary, however little is known about interventions designed to decrease sitting time for this population. Methods: A scoping review was conducted to broadly determine what is known about sedentary behaviour interventions for older adults. Electronic databases were searched for articles with eligibility criteria including: (1) interventions containing strategies to decrease sedentary behaviour, (2) adults ≥60 years of age, and (3) reported outcome measures related to sedentary behaviour. Results: A total of 32 articles met the inclusion criteria. While methodological quality and intervention characteristics varied among the studies, the majority of interventions used a multi-component approach. Interventions involved a variety of behavioural change strategies with goal setting, information and self-monitoring the most frequently used. Of the 20 studies reporting results, 80% (n = 16) found at least one significant change in sedentary behaviour. Conclusion: Findings from this scoping review suggest that sedentary behaviour can be reduced in community-dwelling older adults through multi-component targeted interventions. Future work is needed to examine sedentary behaviour interventions for adults >75 years and for persons living in long-term care institutions.IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATION Older adults spend up to 75% of their day sedentary and are at an increased risk for chronic conditions, functional limitations, and mortality. Multi-component sedentary behaviour interventions, such as education, physical activity, and activity monitoring should be implemented for older adults. When designing interventions, incorporating goal-setting, self-monitoring and other behaviour change strategies can reduce sitting time for older adults.

Find in your library