An exploratory qualitative study on the views and knowledge of osteoporosis sufferers on sedentary behaviour in the development and management of their disease

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Background: There is evidence linking higher levels of sedentary behaviour (SB) and the onset of chronic illnesses (e.g. diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and all-cause mortality). However, there is only a postulated link between SB and bone health. Co-creation (where the target population actively participate in the conception and creation of the intervention) has been suggested as a collaborative and innovative approach to create new feasible and sustainable lifestyle interventions. Objectives: 1) To develop and understanding of the thoughts and opinions of older adults (OA) suffering from osteoporosis (OP) regarding SB and 2) investigate strategies used to reduce SB for intervention development. Methods: Twelve older adults (of which 11 were female) with OP (mean age= 68.4y ±6.3(SD)) participated in Semi-structured interviews (March-May 2020) from the Scottish section of the Royal Osteoporosis Society support group networks and the Strathclyde Age-Friendly-Academy. Telephone interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim and thematically analysed using Braun & Clarkes (2006) six steps to data analysis. Results: Five main and seventeen subthemes emerged: ‘OA’s Knowledge’, ‘Interrupting SB’, ‘Motivators to reduce SB’, ‘OP-related lifestyle changes’, and ‘OA and Technology’. OA had a good understanding of what SB is and how it affects health and OP. They felt there was not enough encouragement to break up SB in society and mainly relied on self-motivation. Participants identified facilitators of SB (e.g. Television), motivators to interrupt SB (e.g. Ad-breaks) and their awareness of prolonged periods of sitting. They reported an increase (or maintenance) of PA levels after OP diagnosis, but had to consider safety measures to prevent slips, trips and falls. Majority of participants appeared to use technology to track their PA and SB (e.g. Fitbit) but were also aware that access and usability are potential barriers when using technology to reduce SB among OA. Discussion: Older OP sufferers are aware of their own SB levels, and what they can do to reduce periods of inactivity however, there is ‘no blanket effect’ i.e. each case of OP is different and is subject to review. Conclusion: These results could help future co-created interventions to stimulate a campaign to reduce SB among in this population subgroup.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Frailty, Sarcopenia & Falls
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 5 Dec 2020


  • sedentary behaviour
  • elderly
  • osteoporosis

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