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Am J Health Promot. 2015 May-Jun;29(5):277-84. doi: 10.4278/ajhp.130709-QUAN-354. Epub 2014 Feb 27.

Evidence to support including lifestyle light-intensity recommendations in physical activity guidelines for older adults.



The purpose of this study was to examine the association of objectively measured lifestyle light-intensity physical activity (LLPA) and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) with various biological markers and chronic diseases among a nationally representative sample of U.S. older adults (65+ years).


A cross-sectional design was used for this study.


Data were obtained from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2003-2006.


Subjects were 1,496 older U.S. adults.


Participants wore an accelerometer for at least 4 days and completed questionnaires to assess sociodemographics and chronic disease information. Blood samples were taken to assess biological markers.


Adjusted Wald tests and Poisson regression were used to examine the association of LLPA and MVPA with biological markers and chronic disease.


Older adults engaging in ≥300 min/wk of LLPA had lower observed values for body mass index, waist circumference, C-reactive protein, and insulin resistance compared to those engaging in <300 min/wk of LLPA. Additionally, those engaging in <300 min/wk of LLPA had a rate 1.18 times greater for having chronic disease compared to those engaging in ≥300 min/wk of LLPA.


In this national sample of older U.S. adults, participation in at least 300 min/wk of LLPA was associated with more favorable health outcomes. Future experimental studies are warranted to confirm these findings.


Accelerometry; Biomarkers; Chronic Disease; Epidemiology; Exercise; Health focus: physical activity, weight control; Manuscript format: research; National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES); Outcome measure: biometric; Research purpose: modeling/relationship testing, descriptive; Setting: national; Strategy: education, behavior change; Study design: cross-sectional; Target population age: seniors; Target population circumstances: education, race/ethnicity

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