Background: Time spent sitting is associated adversely with health outcomes in older adults. Nevertheless, it is not clear how sedentary time may be related to appendicular skeletal muscle mass (ASM) – a key attribute of sarcopenia. This cross-sectional study examined associations of total sedentary time with ASM among community-dwelling older Japanese males and females. Methods: Participants (n = 281, 74.3 ± 5.2 yr) wore a tri-axial accelerometer for seven days. Body mass index-adjusted ASM (kg/BMI) was derived from bioimpedance measures. Multivariate linear and quadratic regression models examined the associations of ASM with total sedentary time, stratified by sex. Restricted cubic spline models were fitted to estimate non-linear associations. Isotemporal substitution (IS) models were used to estimate the impacts of replacing 30-minute of sedentary time with light physical activity (LPA) and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Results: After adjustment, total sedentary time had a significant linear and negative association with ASM among females (β = −0.014; p = 0.023). For males, total sedentary time had a significant quadratic association (p = 0.020). Spline models indicated a reverse U-shaped association (p < 0.001) with total sedentary time over 9.3 h/day being associated with lower ASM. The IS models indicated that replacing 30 min/day of sedentary time with LPA would be positively and significantly associated with older females' ASM (β = 0.007, p = 0.022). Conclusions: In older Japanese adults, higher volumes of time spent sedentary were associated with lower ASM. For males, only very high volumes of sedentary time appeared to be detrimental. These adverse relationships may in part be offset by more time spent in either LPA or MVPA.
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