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Author Notes:

Correspondence: Joe R. Nocera, joenocera@emory.edu

AW, TM, ME, and JN contributed to the conceptual design, acquisition, analysis, and interpretation of the data and also the writing of the manuscript.

DC, JK, RF, AFK, JV, SR, KS, ACK, TB, SA, NN, JJ, KR, ME, TG, and MP contributed to the interpretation and writing of the manuscript.

AW, TM, and JN contributed to revising the work critically and the final approval of the work.

See publication for full list of acknowledgements.

The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

Any opinions, findings, conclusion, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the United States Department of Agriculture.


Research Funding:

The LIFE was funded by a National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Aging Cooperative Agreement No. U01AG22376 and a supplement from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute U01AG022376-05A2S, and sponsored in part by the Intramural Research Program, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health.

Dr. AW (Johns Hopkins University) was currently supported by T32AG000247 and P30AG021334.

Dr. TM (University of Florida) was supported by R01AG042525 and R01HL121023.

The research was partially supported by the Rehabilitation Research & Development Service of the VA (B7676P) and by the Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Centers at the University of Florida (P30AG028740), Tufts University (P30AG031679), University of Pittsburgh (P30AG024827), and Yale University (P30AG021342) and the NIH/NCRR CTSA at Stanford University (UL1RR025744).

Dr. TG (Yale University) was the recipient of an Academic Leadership Award (K07AG3587) from the National Institute on Aging. Dr. RF’s contribution was partially supported by the United States Department of Agriculture, under agreement No. 58-1950-0-014.

This research was also supported by the Boston Rehabilitation Outcomes Center (1R24HD065688-01A1) and the Wake Forest University Field Center was, in part, supported by the Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center (1 P30 AG21332).

Dr. Fragoso was the recipient of a Career Development Award from the Department of Veterans Affairs.


  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Geriatrics & Gerontology
  • Neurosciences
  • Neurosciences & Neurology
  • accelerometer
  • wearables
  • executive function
  • cognition
  • aging
  • physical inactivity
  • TIME

Community-Based Activity and Sedentary Patterns Are Associated With Cognitive Performance in Mobility-Limited Older Adults

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Journal Title:

Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience


Volume 10


, Pages 341-341

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


Over the last few decades, considerable evidence shows that greater levels of aerobic exercise and cardiovascular fitness benefit cognitive performance. However, the degree to which free-living activity in community settings is related to cognitive performance remains unclear, particularly in older adults vulnerable to disability. Also, it is unknown whether the manner in which daily physical activity (PA) and sedentary time are accumulated throughout the day is associated with cognition. Cross-sectional associations between accelerometer-characterized PA and sedentary patterns and cognitive performance were examined in 1,274 mobility-limited older adults. Percent time spent in various bout lengths of PA (≥1, ≥2, and ≥5 min) and sedentary (≥1, ≥30, and ≥60 min) was defined as the number of minutes registered divided by total wear time × 100. Percent time was then tertiled for each bout length. Multiple linear regression models were used to estimate the associations between accelerometer bout variables and separate cognitive domains that included processing speed (Digit Symbol Coding; DSC), immediate and delayed recall (Hopkins Verbal Learning Test; HVLT), information processing and selective attention (Flanker), working memory (n-back), reaction time (switch and non-switch reaction time), and a composite score that averaged results from all cognitive tests. After adjusting for demographics, behavioral factors, and morbid conditions, more time spent in PA was associated with higher DSC for all bout lengths (p < 0.03 for all). Higher PA was associated with higher HVLT and global cognition scores but only for longer bout lengths (p < 0.05 for all). The association was largely driven by participants who spent the lowest amount of time performing activity while awake (p < 0.04). An inverse linear relationship was observed between total sedentary time and DSC (p = 0.02), but not for other measures of cognition. These results suggest that, while higher PA was associated with higher cognitive performance, PA's association with memory was sensitive to bout duration. The time, but not the manner, spent in sedentary behaviors showed a minor association with executive function. Further research is warranted to characterize longitudinal changes in daily activity and sedentary patterns as potential biophysical markers of cognitive status in older adults.

Copyright information:

© 2018 Wanigatunga, Manini, Cook, Katula, Fielding, Kramer, Verghese, Rapp, Sink, King, Buford, Anton, Nadkarni, Jennings, Reid, Espeland, Gill, Pahor and Nocera.

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
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