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J Rehabil Res Dev. 2007;44(3):417-28.

Quantification of everyday motor function in a geriatric population.

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Institute of Human Movement Sciences and Sport, ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland.


This pilot study evaluated variability in physical activities and the correlations between walking, two types of postural transitions, and falls efficacy with an ambulatory activity monitor. An 11-subject convenience sample wore the monitor for 2 consecutive days; in addition, 7 subjects carried the monitor on 1 day of the following week. Demographic characteristics of the sample were age: mean +/- standard deviation [SD] = 87.8 +/- 2.5 yr, body mass index: mean +/- SD = 25.3 +/- 2.1 kg/m(2), and Mini-Mental State Examination score: mean +/- SD = 27.5 +/- 2.0. Analyzed movements were sit-to-stand (SiSt) and stand-to-sit postural transitions, dynamic activity (walking), and static behavior (sitting, standing, lying). Significant correlations were found for the SiSt transition duration (TD) between days (intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.78). No differences were found between the durations of sitting (p = 0.8), lying (p = 0.72), standing (p = 0.06), and walking (p = 0.6). These parameters showed highly variable correlation coefficients. A significant correlation was observed between falls efficacy and SiSt measures (r = 0.84, p < 0.01, df = 9). We reliably determined the SiSt TD after subjects wore the monitor for 1 day in the home environment. Poor correlations between 2 consecutive measurement days for dynamic and static activity underline the necessity of recording further days to assess physical activity levels in the geriatric population.

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