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Gerontology. 2007;53(5):293-7. Epub 2007 May 23.

Predictors of cessation of regular leisure-time physical activity in community-dwelling elderly people.

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  • 1Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Tokyo, Japan.



Maintaining regular physical activity is important for physical and mental health, providing benefits including protection against chronic disease. However, little is known about the causes of cessation of habitual physical activity in older people.


To identify predictors of cessation of regular physical activity in community-dwelling elderly people.


582 community-dwelling people aged 70 years and over who were living in Tokyo, Japan, were surveyed regarding physical activity levels 2 years after completing an initial survey where they indicated they took part in physical activity at least 5 days a week. Baseline demographic, health, physical functioning and psychological status measures were used as predictors of exercise cessation.


At the 2-year follow-up, 192 subjects (33%) had ceased taking part in regular physical activity. In univariate analyses, women, smokers, those who reported a fear of falling and those with a slower walking speed at baseline were significantly more likely to cease regular physical activity. Multiple logistic regression analysis identified 3 of these variables as significant and independent predictors of activity cessation: female gender (adjusted OR = 1.67, 95% CI = 1.13-2.47); smoking (OR = 2.34, 95% CI = 1.33-4.13), and slow walking speed (OR = 1.79, 95% CI = 1.07-2.98).


The study identified simple screening measures for identifying elderly people at risk of ceasing regular physical activity. Currently active older people with these factors may benefit from counseling and interventions to enable them to continue participating in regular physical activity.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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