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Patterns of leisure-time physical activity in a British birth cohort at early old age

Tuesday, October 09, 2012 — Poster Session I

1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m

Natcher Conference Center, Building 45




  • R Cooper
  • TB Harris
  • J Guralnik
  • R Hardy
  • D Kuh


Leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) confers many health benefits, yet older adults are not meeting activity guidelines. Using data from a nationally representative British birth cohort (1034 men, 1149 women), we examined sedentary activities and self-reported LTPA at age 60-64y in relation to gender, employment status, body mass index (BMI) and self-reported health. Participants had a mean of 24 (±10) hours/week of sedentary time from television and leisure-time computer use. Those not currently employed, overweight-obese, or reporting worse self-reported health had higher mean sedentary times than others, by 3, 3.5, and 2 hours/week respectively. 52% of participants reported engaging in moderate-to-vigorous LTPA for 150+ minutes/week; only 6% reported 150+ minutes/week of vigorous LTPA. Men, those not currently employed, normal-weight, or reporting good self-reported health engaged in more moderate-to-vigorous LTPA than others, by an average of 33, 25, 45, 105 minutes/week, respectively. While 16% of participants reported no LTPAs, the majority reported engaging in one or more different types of activities. Walking for pleasure/recreation was most often reported (71%) followed by swimming (33%), floor-exercises (24%), conditioning-exercises (15%), recreational-cycling (15%), hill-walking (14%), and dancing (14%). Public health practitioners and clinicians should continue encouraging older adults to participate in LTPA and reduce sedentary time.

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