Effect of Sedentary Time on the Risk of Orthopaedic Problems in People Aged 50 Years and Older



Many people experience orthopaedic problems (OPPs), such as knee joint pain, hip joint pain, low back pain, and knee stiffness in their lifetimes. OPPs can impair lower extremity function, cause depression, and worsen quality of life. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between sedentary time (SDT) and OPPs.


Retrospective cross-sectional study.


This study used data from the 2014–2015 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Survey participants with previous or current osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, as diagnosed by a doctor, were excluded. OPPs were defined as knee joint pain, hip joint pain, low back pain, and knee stiffness. The cut-off value for SDT was 7.5 hours/day. The study population comprised 3,671 people (1), 856 men and 1,815 women), all of whom were ≥50 years-old. Multiple logistic regression analyses were performed.


A total of 328 men (17.7%) and 519 women (28.6%) had OPPs. Men with SDTs ≥7.5 hours had a greater risk of OPPs than did men with SDTs <7.5 hours (odds ratio [OR], 1.45; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.08–1.93). A pink-collar job, physical inactivity during leisure time, and passive (e.g. riding in a car or train) versus active (e.g. walking or riding a bicycle) transportation predicted OPPs in men with SDTs ≥7.5 hours. SDT was a risk factor for knee joint pain in men (OR, 1.80; 95% CI, 1.11–2.92) and hip joint pain in women (OR, 2.05; 95% CI, 1.35–3.11).


In men, prolonged SDT is a risk factor for OPPs. More physical activity programmes should be launched at the community level for people ≥50 years-old to reduce the occurrence of OPPs.

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Funding: This study was supported by a faculty research grant of Yonsei University College of Medicine(6-2018-0174 and 6-2017-0157).

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Correspondence to Sung-In Jang.

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Declarations of interest: none

Ethical approval: As this study analysed existing data, approval from an ethics review board was not required. The KNHANES, which was the source of the data used for this study, has been reviewed and approved annually by the Ethics Review Committee of the KCDC since 2007.

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Kang, S.H., Joo, J.H., Park, E.C. et al. Effect of Sedentary Time on the Risk of Orthopaedic Problems in People Aged 50 Years and Older. J Nutr Health Aging 24, 839–845 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12603-020-1391-7

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Key words

  • Sedentary time
  • orthopedic problems
  • gerontology
  • Korea
  • regression analysis