Barbara J Jefferis, Tessa J Parsons, Claudio Sartini, Sarah Ash, Lucy T Lennon, Olia Papacosta, Richard W Morris, S Goya Wannamethee, I-Min Lee, Peter H Whincup


To understand how device-measured sedentary behaviour and physical activity are related to all-cause mortality in older men, an age group with high
levels of inactivity and sedentary behaviour.

Prospective population-based cohort study of men recruited from 24 UK General Practices in 1978–1980. In 2010–2012, 3137 surviving men were invited to a follow-up, 1655 (aged 71–92 years) agreed. Nurses measured height and weight, men completed health and demographic questionnaires and wore an ActiGraph GT3x accelerometer. All-cause mortality was collected through National Health Service central registers up to 1 June 2016.

After median 5.0 years’ follow-up, 194 deaths occurred in 1181 men without pre-existing cardiovascular disease. For each additional 30 min in sedentary behaviour, or light physical activity (LIPA), or 10 min in moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA), HRs for mortality were 1.17 (95% CI 1.10 to 1.25), 0.83 (95% CI 0.77 to 0.90) and 0.90 (95% CI 0.84 to 0.96), respectively. Adjustments for confounders did not meaningfully change estimates. Only LIPA remained significant on mutual adjustment for all intensities. The HR for accumulating 150 min MVPA/week in sporadic minutes (achieved by 66% of men) was 0.59 (95% CI 0.43 to 0.81) and 0.58 (95% CI 0.33 to 1.00) for accumulating 150 min MVPA/week in bouts lasting ≥10 min (achieved by 16% of men). Sedentary breaks were not associated with mortality.

In older men, all activities (of light intensity upwards) were beneficial and accumulation of activity in bouts ≥10 min did not appear important beyond total volume of activity. Findings can inform physical activity guidelines for older adults.


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