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J Aging Phys Act. 2014 Oct;22(4):571-7. doi: 10.1123/japa.2012-0257. Epub 2013 Dec 4.

Intensity of physical activity in the energy expenditure of older adults.

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Department of Kinesiology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI.


This study examined the intensity of activity contributing to physical activity energy expenditure in older adults. In 57 men and women aged ≥ 65, total energy expenditure (TEE) was measured using doubly labeled water and resting metabolic rate was measured using indirect calorimetry to calculate a physical activity index (PAI). Sedentary time and physical activity of light and moderate to vigorous (mod/vig) intensity was measured using an accelerometer. The subjects were 75 ± 7 yrs (mean ± SD) of age and 79% female. Subjects spent 66 ± 8, 25 ± 5, and 9 ± 4% of monitor wear time in sedentary, light, and mod/vig activity per day, respectively. In a mixture regression model, both light (β = 29.6 [15.6-43.6, 95% CI]), p < .001) and mod/vig intensity activity (β = 28.7 [7.4-50.0, 95% CI]), p = .01) were strongly associated with PAI, suggesting that both light and mod/vig intensity activities are major determinants of their physical activity energy expenditure.

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