Associations of accelerometer-determined physical activity and sedentary behavior with sarcopenia and incident falls over 12 months in community-dwelling Swedish older adults

David Scott, Jonas Johansson, Anoohya Gandham, Peter R. Ebeling, Peter Nordstrom, Anna Nordstrom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To determine associations of accelerometer-determined time and bouts of sedentary behavior, light physical activity (LPA), and moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) with sarcopenia and incident falls over 12 months. Methods: A total of 3334 Swedish 70-year-olds were assessed for sarcopenia, as defined by the revised definition of the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People. Assessments were based on low scores for appendicular lean mass (dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry), hand grip strength, and the Timed Up and Go test. For 7 days after baseline, total time and total number of bouts (≥10 min of continuous activity at a given intensity) of activity performed at sedentary, LPA, and MVPA intensities were assessed by accelerometer. Incident falls were self-reported 6 and 12 months after baseline. Results: Only 2% of participants had probable or confirmed sarcopenia. After multivariable adjustment for other levels of activity, only greater MVPA time was associated with a decreased likelihood of having low appendicular lean mass, low hand grip strength, and slow Timed Up and Go time as defined by the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People criteria (all p < 0.05), and only MVPA time was associated with lower likelihood of probable or confirmed sarcopenia (odds ratio: 0.80; 95% confidence interval: 0.71–0.91 h/week). Similar associations were identified for total number of bouts, with no evidence of threshold effects for longer duration of bouts of MVPA. A total of 14% of participants reported ≥1 fall, but neither total time nor bouts of activity was associated with incident falls (all p > 0.05). Conclusion: Higher amounts of accelerometer-determined MVPA are consistently associated with a decreased likelihood of sarcopenia and its components, regardless of the length of bouts or amounts of sedentary behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)577-584
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Sport and Health Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020


  • Accelerometer
  • Falls
  • Older adults
  • Physical activity
  • Sarcopenia

Cite this