Patterns of sedentary time and physical activity in older adults: do sex and gender matter?

No Thumbnail Available
Zdjelar, Milena
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Kinesiology and Physical Education
Prolonged sedentary time and inadequate physical activity are detrimental to the health of older adults. Sex and gender may influence health and movement behaviours that impact health. The purpose of this research was to scope the available literature on sex and gender in sedentary behaviour and then explore the relationship between biological sex and gender traits on movement behaviour patterns among older adults. In the scoping review, 210 articles were screened and 41 were identified that examined sex and/or gender in relation to sedentary behaviour in older adults. Almost all studies used sex- and/or gender-related terms interchangeably. Of the 41 articles, 28 studies suggested the division of household labour is the main explanation for any observed sex and/or gender differences in sedentary behaviour. The remaining 13 studies identified other factors that may influence this relationship, like social support, access to transportation, and area-level crime incidence. To further explore the relationship, observational data from 72 healthy older adults (80.1 ± 9.4 years) were examined. Movement behaviours were assessed using ActivPAL4™ inclinometers and participants completed the 30-Item Bem Sex-Role Inventory to assess masculine and feminine traits. There were no statistically significant associations between movement behaviour variables, sex, and masculine and feminine scores. This exploratory study demonstrates a need for consistent use of sex and gender terminology and better tools to assess gender. A more comprehensive understanding of the complexity of sex and gender in relation to health is needed to enable the creation of tailored movement behaviour interventions for the aging population.
sedentary behaviour , physical activity , older adults , sex , gender , movement behaviours , health research , health behaviour , scoping review , healthy active aging , sex- and gender-based analysis , biological and sociocultural influence on movement behaviour