A randomised controlled trial of reducing prolonged sitting to improve cognitive function in insufficiently active frail older adults

Project Researchers Prof. Kaarin J Anstey, Prof Nicola Lautenschlager

Year: July 1, 2016


Program Overview:

Prolonged sitting is a ubiquitous behaviour that places people at increased risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and dying earlier. Recently, some studies have shown that people who watch a lot television viewing are at increased risk of having cognitive decline and developing Alzheimer’s Disease.

Older adults who are frail and inactive have high levels of sitting time and are at risk of cognitive decline making them an ideal group to determine whether reducing sitting can improve cognitive function.

Our research team has developed and evaluated half of the interventions targeting reductions in prolonged sitting in older adults, ideally placing us in a position to progress this research agenda.

144 insufficiently active frail older adults will be randomised to an intervention or control group. We propose an 8-week intervention involving a face-to-face session and five telephone calls. Participants will receive information on the health impacts of prolonged sitting, feedback on their objectively measured sitting time and choose personally relevant goals in order to reduce their sitting time.

Participants in the intervention group will receive a device they wear on their wrist that will prompt them to move after 30 minutes of uninterrupted sitting. All participants will have cognitive function, objectively measured sitting time, mental wellbeing, body composition and sleep assessed at baseline and again after 8 weeks. They will also be measured at 12 weeks to see if they maintain changes in behaviour.

Successful DCRC grant recipient 2016

Other team members:

Dr Dori Rosenberg, Group Health Research Institute
Dr Lucy Lewis, Flinders University
Dr Amber Watts, University of Kansas