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Personal and Environmental Contributors to Sedentary Behavior of Older Adults in Independent and Assisted Living Facilities

Kotlarczyk, Mary P. and Hergenroeder, Andrea L. and Gibbs, Bethany Barone and Cameron, Flor de Abril and Hamm, Megan E. and Brach, Jennifer S. (2020) Personal and Environmental Contributors to Sedentary Behavior of Older Adults in Independent and Assisted Living Facilities. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17 (17). p. 6415. ISSN 1660-4601

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Sedentary behavior is associated with negative health outcomes and unhealthy aging. Older adults are the most sedentary age group, and decreasing sitting time represents an intervention target for improving health. Determinants of sedentary behavior have been examined in older adults living in their own homes, yet less is known about sedentary behavior of older adults in residential care facilities. The purpose of this study was to explore factors contributing to sedentary behavior among residents of independent and assisted living facilities. We conducted eight focus groups with residents (n = 44) and semi-structured interviews with staff (n = 6) across four living facilities. Audio recordings were transcribed and analyzed using an iterative, inductive approach. Three salient themes were identified. Residents and staff both viewed sedentary behavior negatively unless it was in the context of social engagement. Additionally, fear of falling was discussed as a significant contributor to sedentary behavior. Finally, residents felt the community living environment contributed to their sedentary behavior while staff did not. Our findings provide valuable insight for designing targeted interventions for older adults in residential facilities and suggest thinking beyond the individual and considering environmental influences on sedentary behavior in the residential care setting.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Kotlarczyk, Mary P.
Hergenroeder, Andrea
Gibbs, Bethany Barone
Cameron, Flor de Abril
Hamm, Megan
Brach, Jennifer
Date: 3 September 2020
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume: 17
Number: 17
Publisher: MDPI AG
Page Range: p. 6415
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.3390/ijerph17176415
Schools and Programs: School of Medicine > Medicine
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: sedentary behavior, older adults, residential care, focus groups, thematic analysis, qualitative research
ISSN: 1660-4601
Official URL:
Funders: National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Aging
Article Type: Research Article
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2022 18:17
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2022 18:17


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