Physical Activity as a Determinant of Change in Mobility Performance: The Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam
Article first published online: 5 NOV 2002
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
Volume 50, Issue 11, pages 1774–1781, November 2002
How to Cite
Visser, M., Pluijm, S. M. F., Stel, V. S., Bosscher, R. J. and Deeg, D. J. H. (2002), Physical Activity as a Determinant of Change in Mobility Performance: The Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 50: 1774–1781. doi: 10.1046/j.1532-5415.2002.50504.x
- Issue published online: 5 NOV 2002
- Article first published online: 5 NOV 2002
- functional status;
- longitudinal study;
- physical activity
OBJECTIVES: This study examined the association of (change in) physical activity and decline in mobility performance in older men and women.
DESIGN: A 3-year prospective study using data of the Longitudinal Aging Study.
PARTICIPANTS: Two thousand one hundred nine men and women aged 55 to 85.
MEASUREMENTS: 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.
RESULTS: 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.
CONCLUSIONS: 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.