It has recently emerged that sedentary behaviour is independent of a lack of physical activity as individuals can be sufficiently active, based on the recommended physical activity guidelines, but also spend the majority of their waking hours engaging in sedentary behaviour. Individuals who follow this pattern of physical activity and sedentary behaviour are known as 'active couch potatoes'. Sedentary behaviour has been found to have detrimental effects on cardiometabolic markers associated with cardiovascular disease. Since the positive effects of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity do not necessarily negate the deleterious effects of sedentary behaviour on cardiometabolic markers, it is postulated that engaging in light physical activity is an intervention that will successfully reduce levels of sedentary behaviour and may hence improve health markers of quality of life. We propose that such lifestyle changes may be particularly relevant to older populations as these engage in sedentary behaviour for the majority of their waking hours, thereby adding to the negative aging effect on cardiometabolic markers.
Ryan, D. J., Stebbings, G., & Onambele, G. (2015). The emergence of sedentary behaviour physiology and its effects on the cardiometabolic profile in young and older adults. Age, 37(5). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11357-015-9832-7