Physical Activity as a Determinant of Change in Mobility Performance: The Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam

Institute for Research in Extramural Medicine, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (Impact Factor: 4.57). 11/2002; 50(11):1774-81. DOI: 10.1046/j.1532-5415.2002.50504.x
Source: PubMed


This study examined the association of (change in) physical activity and decline in mobility performance in older men and women.
A 3-year prospective study using data of the Longitudinal Aging Study.
Two thousand one hundred nine men and women aged 55 to 85.
Total physical activity (expressed as hours per day and kilocalories per day) and sports participation were measured using a validated, interviewer-administered questionnaire. Mobility performance was assessed using two timed tests: 6-meter walk and repeated chair stands.
Mobility performance declined for 45.6% of the sample. At baseline, the mean time +/- standard deviation spent on total physical activity was 3.0 +/- 2.1 h/d or 719 +/- 543 kcal/d, and 56.6% of the sample participated in sports. Sports participation and a higher level of total physical activity, walking, or household activity were associated with a smaller mobility decline. After 3 years, total physical activity declined, and only 53.4% of those reporting sports at baseline continued doing so. Continuation of physical activity over time was associated with the smallest decline in mobility. The observed associations were similar for those with and without chronic disease (P> 0.3). The conclusions did not change after adjustment for potential confounders, including demographic and lifestyle variables, depression, and cognitive status.
Physical activity, and especially a regularly active lifestyle, may slow the decline in mobility performance. A beneficial effect was observed for sports and nonsports activities, independent of the presence of chronic disease.

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Available from: Vianda S Stel, Jun 02, 2015
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    • "To maintain walking ability in old age, studies have reported the effectiveness of regular physical activity [1] [8] and programs of regular physical exercise such as those to improve balance and muscle strength training [9]. The effectiveness of interventions with home exercise [10], water-based exercise [11], balance improvement through the use of video game exercises [12], and Tai Chi Quan training [13] for older populations has also been studied. "
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    • "Examining a cohort of 2,979 participants from the Health ABC study, Visser et al. [36] found that reduced muscle attenuation (assessed via computed tomography; indicator of fat infiltration into the muscle) was associated with poorer lower extremity performance independent of muscle area. Age-related fatty-infiltration of skeletal muscle is also associated with the incidence of mobility disability [37]. "
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    • "The 29% reduction observed for PD patients in the present study might even be greater in comparison with healthy controls since our cohort did not include severely affected PD patients [24]. Moreover, the LASA study, which we used as a control group, showed that about 60% of the population had a chronic disease [39]. Direct comparison for comorbidity between the two groups was not possible as the LASA study only recorded broad categories and did not subdivide in specific disorders. "
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