884. Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour, and Retirement: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis
Commentary by Gregore Iven Mielke, Centre for Research on Exercise, Physical Activity and Health, The University of Queensland.
Some life events bring considerably changes in people’s routines, which might change their health behaviours. The study conducted by Jones and colleagues has investigated changes on domain-specific physical activity and TV watching over time as result of retirement. Researchers followed up for over 9 years nearly 4,000 adults, aged 45-84 years in 2000, from six U.S. communities. The participants in five different moments reported domain-specific physical activity and their time spent watching TV.
Overall, time spend doing moderate to vigorous physical activity decreased during a median nine-year period. Furthermore, the authors found that retirement status implied in a 10% decrease in moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity but a slightly increase in recreational walking and household activities. Also, was observed a 30% increase in TV time after retirement. Jones and colleagues have also shown that the influence of retirement on physical activity and television viewing seems to be different among socioeconomic groups. Especially for moderate to vigorous physical activity, the decrease after retirement was even more accentuated among those from low socioeconomic backgrounds.
This study presents important considerations for both researchers and policy makers. In terms of research, the next step is to understand what influences physical activity change after retirement. Moreover, we must acknowledge that these findings might not be extrapolated to low and middle-income countries and therefore research in these settings is urged. For policy makers, these results reinforce the need to take into account socioeconomic determinants of physical activity (and health) when interventions aimed to increase population levels of physical activity are designed. It is always important consider that physical activity is not only determined by individual choices.
Source: American Journal of Preventive Medicine
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