Why I choose to get off my butt: Older adults motives to reduce sedentary time from a self-determination theory perspectives


Recent literature has demonstrated that engagement in prolonged sedentary bouts may be linked to detrimental physiological and psychological outcomes. Older adults, on average, spend more time sedentary relative to other age groups. While several studies have identified motives endorsed by older adults to reduce sedentary behaviour, few have been guided by a theoretical framework. The purpose of this study was to garner a comprehensive understanding of older adults' motives and the strategies they employ to reduce their sedentary time from a self-determination theory perspective (SDT). Utilizing a semi-structured interview guide, a sample of community-dwelling older adults (n = 27) participated in one of seven focus groups in which they were asked about their beliefs, motives, and strategies towards reducing sedentary time. Focus groups were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using a thematic approach. Results revealed that older adults were motivated to reduce the amount of time that they engaged in sedentary behaviours for a wide range of reasons, encompassing the full extent of the SDT continuum. Additionally, the results demonstrated that there is considerable variability in the strategies that older adults perceived as effective in motivating them to reduce their sedentary time. The study results rendered a list of items to be further tested in the development of an instrument to assess the motives of older adults towards sedentary time reduction while also identifying potential strategies that could be implemented to assist older adults in facilitating optimal motives for reducing their sedentary time.