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Am J Public Health. 1996 Jan;86(1):57-61.

The effect of walking on lower body disability among older blacks and whites.

Author information

  • 1Department of Medicine, Indiana University Medical Center, Indianapolis 46202-2859, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

This study investigated the association between regular physical activity and risk of or increase in lower body disability in older, community dwelling Blacks and Whites.

METHODS:

The present study used the 1984 to 1990 Longitudinal Study on Aging, which included 413 Black and 3428 White self-respondents 70 years of age or older. Discrete-time hazard models provided estimates of the effects of self-reported walking frequency, and regular exercise on lower, body disability among Black and White self-respondents.

RESULTS:

Whites who reported walking 4 to 7 days per week at baseline vs those who reported never walking 1 mile (1.6 km) or more experienced a one-third lower risk of increased disability. Blacks who reported walking 4 to 7 days per week experienced a two-thirds lower risk. Walking 4 to 7 days per week reduced the risk of disability onset by 50% to 80% on all five disability items within the Black sample and by 50% on two items within the White sample.

CONCLUSIONS:

Among older Blacks, walking 4 to 7 days per week had a greater protective effect against lower body decline than any of the other factors, including age and chronic conditions.

PMID:
8561243
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1380361
Free PMC Article
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