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Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2000 Feb;10(1):37-41.

The continuity of physical activity--a retrospective and prospective study among older people.

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  • 1Department of Physical Education, The Finnish Centre for Interdisciplinary Gerontology, University of Jyväskylä.


This study investigated the continuity of life-span physical activity by examining the predictors of the maintenance of a high level of physical activity over 8 years among subjects aged 65-84 years at the baseline, in 1988, in Jyväskylä, Finland. Age, education, marital status and chronic conditions and past physical activity were studied at the baseline. In men and women, self-reported competitive sport participation from as early as 10-19 years of age was a significant predictor for maintaining activity in old age. Also women's participation in recreational sports at the age of 40-64 years predicted activity. We concluded that past physical activity is strongly connected to maintaining a high level of physical activity in old age regardless of chronic conditions that may develop.

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