Changes in sedentary behaviours across the retirement transition: a systematic review Academic Article uri icon


  • Prolonged sedentary behaviour has been associated with a number of chronic health conditions. This issue is compounded by inactivity increasing with age.This systematic review aimed to identify evidence regarding changes in sedentary behaviours as people move into retirement.Nine databases (Ageline, CINAHL, Cochrane, Embase, MEDLINE, ProQuest, PubMed, SportDiscus and Web of Science) were searched in May 2014. Search terms included retirement, time use and a range of sedentary behaviours, with no date limit. Articles were selected and appraised for risk of bias by two independent reviewers. Due to the variations in measures used for reporting, data synthesis of results was qualitative.Two studies measured total sitting time and reported declines across retirement. Several studies examined self-reported time spent in specific sedentary leisure activities and generally reported increases in duration, prevalence or frequency (television: 7/9 studies; reading: 4/6 studies). Few other sedentary behaviours were considered.Changes in sedentary time across retirement are currently poorly understood with varying patterns of change identified by different study methodologies (total sitting time versus specific leisure sedentary activities). Future research that simultaneously investigates changes in a comprehensive range of sedentary behaviours across retirement is required. To date, findings suggest that interventions aimed at improving the health of this population need to be targeted at specific sedentary behaviours to provide maximum benefit.

publication date

  • 2015