HealthDay News — Reducing sedentary time among older adult patients with physical impairments benefits heart health, results of a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association suggest.

Although most studies focus on engagement in programs consisting of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity, not much is known about the impact of lower-intensity activities on the risk of cardiovascular events.

“Data in this area could have important implications for making physical activity recommendations, particularly among populations with health issues that limit their ability to engage in higher volumes or intensities of physical activity,” wrote Jodi D. Fitzgerald, of the University of Florida in Gainesville, Fla., and colleagues.

To examine the baseline, cross-sectional association between cardiovascular risk and objectively measured physical activity among geriatric patients, the investigators conducted a statistical analysis on participants enrolled in the Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders (LIFE) study.

The study group was sedentary for more than 10 hours a day. They spent another 3 hours or so being active, mostly at a level equivalent to doing light household chores or walking slowly. The predicted risk of heart attack or death increased 1% for every 25 to 30 minutes that a patient was sedentary, reported the investigators.


  1. Fitzgerald JD et al. J Am Heart Assoc. 2015; doi: 10.1161/JAHA.114.001288