All-Cause Mortality Decreased In Post-Menopausal Women Who Reduce Sedentary Time

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Jasmine Lee, M.Sc. and Chris I. Ardern, Ph.D.
School of Kinesiology and Health Science
York University
Toronto, ON, Canada

Medical Research: What is the background for this study?

Response: Although the benefits of physical activity are well known, the health and mortality risks associated with sedentary time (activities <1.5 MET)—which can occur in long, continuous bouts, such as at the workplace, during motorized transportation and via screen time— have been less frequently explored, and may differ across subgroups of the population. Like physical activity, sedentary time may fluctuate with major life events and occupation (e.g. aging, retirement, etc.), which raises the question of the short-term relationship between changes in sitting time and mortality risk.

Medical Research: What are the main findings?

Response: Maintenance of minimal sedentary time, as well as short-term reduction in sedentary time, were found to reduce the risk of all-cause and cancer- mortality amongst a sample of middle-aged and older women (50-79 y) who are prone to high rates of physical inactivity and sedentary time.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: While these findings highlight the importance of maintaining low levels of sedentary time, they also provide encouragement to those wishing to make positive changes to their health—by reducing their time spent sitting—amongst individuals who may otherwise be initially unable to engage in more moderate levels of physical activity.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: In the absence of any randomized controlled trials, analysis of changes in sedentary time and mortality risk provides incremental support for a causal relationship. Given these findings, future analyses should focus on incorporating time-course analyses with multiple sedentary time assessments in the presence of other major lifestyle factors.

Citation:

Lee, J. L. Kuk, and C. I. Ardern

The relationship between changes in sitting time and mortality in post-menopausal US women J Public Health first published online May 1, 2015 doi:10.1093/pubmed/fdv055

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MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jasmine Lee, M.Sc. and Chris I. Ardern, Ph.D. (2015). All-Cause Mortality Decreased In Post-Menopausal Women Who Reduce Sedentary Time