The association between physical activity, sedentary behavior and the occurrence of falls in asymptomatic adults over 40 years old

Associação entre atividade física, comportamento sedentário e a ocorrência de quedas em adultos assintomáticos acima dos 40 anos de idade

La asociación entre la actividad física, el comportamiento sedentario y la ocurrencia de caídas en adultos asintomáticos mayores de 40 años

Ana Esther Pereira de Oliveira Thatiane Lopes Valentim Di Paschoale Ostolin Wesley de Oliveira Vieira Rodolfo Leite Arantes Antônio Ricardo de Toledo Gagliardi Evandro Fornias Sperandio Victor Zuniga Dourado About the authors



Sedentary behavior (SB) has been described as an independent risk factor for health, regardless of the recommended amount of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). However, SB and MVPA as predictors of falls have been poorly investigated.


To compare the associations between SB and MVPA and the occurrence of falls in middle-aged and older adults.


The participants wore a triaxial accelerometer over the dominant hip for seven days to measure SB and MVPA. The occurrence of falls and cardiovascular risk factors were assessed by self-report. Isokinetic peak torque (PT) of knee extension, peak oxygen uptake (V’O2) in a ramp treadmill protocol, and lean (LBM) body mass and body fat (BFM) (bioelectrical impedance) were also assessed. The critical roles of SB and MVPA on the occurrence of falls were compared by multiple logistic regression adjusted for age, sex, cardiovascular risk factors, LBM, peak V’O2, and PT of knee extension.


379 participants were evaluated, aged 40-80 years. Forty-eight participants reported at least one fall in the previous 12 months (14.5%). Fallers presented lower SB and higher MVPA. They were predominantly women and older adults with lower physical fitness. After multivariate analysis, MVPA, but not SB, was selected as an independent predictor of falls, increasing the odds ratio of having a fall (1.184, 95% confidence interval, 1.016 - 1.378).


Episodes of falls in predominantly middle-aged and women subjects were associated with a higher amount of MVPA, not the opposite, indicating an adverse effect of MVPA in these subjects.

Physical Fitness; Fitness Trackers; Fall; Sedentary Lifestyle; Middle Aged

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