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J Am Geriatr Soc. 2010 Oct;58(10):1918-24. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2010.03008.x. Epub 2010 Aug 24.

Relationship between physical functioning and physical activity in the lifestyle interventions and independence for elders pilot.

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  • 1Nutrition, Exercise Physiology and Sarcopenia Laboratory, Jean Mayer USDA Human Research Center on Aging, Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts 02111, USA.



To determine whether participation in usual moderate-intensity or more-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) is associated with physical function performance and to identify sociodemographic, psychosocial, and disease-related covariates that may also compromise physical function performance.


Cross-sectional analysis of baseline variables of a randomized controlled intervention trial.


Four academic research centers.


Four hundred twenty-four older adults aged 70 to 89 at risk for mobility disability (scoring <10 on the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB)) and able to complete the 400-m walk test within 15 minutes.


Minutes of MVPA (dichotomized according to above or below 150 min/wk of MVPA) assessed according to the Community Healthy Activities Model Program for Seniors questionnaire, SPPB score, 400-m walk test, sex, body mass index (BMI), depressive symptoms, age, and number of medications.


The SPPB summary score was associated with minutes of MVPA (ρ=0.16, P=.001). In multiple regression analyses, age, minutes of MVPA, number of medications, and depressive symptoms were associated with performance on the composite SPPB (P<.05). There was an association between 400-m walk time and minutes of MVPA (ρ=-0.18; P<.001). In multiple regression analyses, age, sex, minutes of MVPA, BMI, and number of medications were associated with performance on the 400-m walk test (P<.05).


Minutes of MVPA, sex, BMI, depressive symptoms, age, and number of medications are associated with physical function performance and should all be taken into consideration in the prevention of mobility disability.

© 2010, Copyright the Authors. Journal compilation © 2010, The American Geriatrics Society.

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