OBJECTIVE: Reducing sedentary behaviour (SB) might improve the health of older adults. However, we know little about how objectively measured SB impacts on self-rated health in older adults. We aimed to explore the associations between objectively measured SB and self-rated health in English older adults.
RESULTS: A random sub-sample of older adults (≥ 65 years old) from the 2008 Health Survey for England wore an ActiGraph GT1M accelerometer for 7 days. Self-rated health was measured using an item from the General Health Questionnaire. Linear regression and analysis of covariance were used to test the associations between percentage time spent in SB and mean daily minutes in SB and self-rated health (very good/good; fair; bad/very bad), adjusting for covariates. Valid accelerometry datasets were returned by 578 individuals. Significant negative associations between percentage time and mean daily minutes in SB and self-rated health were found. In particular, individuals spending reduced percentages of time being sedentary had higher self-rated health. In conclusion, SB appears to be associated with self-rated health in older people independently from MVPA. If longitudinal research could determine how changes in SB influence self-rated health as individuals' age, this might be an important lifestyle variable to target for health improvement.