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J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2018 Apr 17;73(5):688-694. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glx231.

Maintenance of Physical Function 1 Year After Exercise Intervention in At-Risk Older Adults: Follow-up From the LIFE Study.

Author information

1
Department of Internal Medicine, Section on Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, Sticht Center on Aging, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
2
Department of Biostatistical Sciences, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
3
Nutrition, Exercise Physiology and Sarcopenia Laboratory, Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts.
4
Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.
5
Center for Aging and Population Health, Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
6
Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore.
7
School of Medicine, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California.
8
Department of Aging and Geriatric Research, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville.
9
Department of Health and Exercise Science, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
10
Department of Medicine, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois.
11
Department of Kinesiology, University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Abstract

Background:

Structured physical activity interventions delay the onset of disability for at-risk older adults. However, it is not known if at-risk older adults continue to participate in physical activity or maintain mobility benefits after cessation of structured intervention.

Methods:

One thousand six hundred and thirty-five sedentary men and women aged 70-89 years with Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) scores of 9 or less and able to walk 400 m were randomized to a structured, moderate-intensity physical activity (PA) program consisting of center-based (twice/week) and home-based (three to four times per week) aerobic, resistance, and flexibility training or a health education (HE) program combined with upper extremity stretching.

Results:

Most of the participants (88% of HE and 87% of PA) returned for a follow-up visit (POST) 1 year after cessation of formal intervention. The HE group reported about 1-hour less activity per week than the PA group at end of intervention (LAST TRIAL; -68.9; 95% confidence interval [CI] = -86.5 to -51.3) but similar weekly activity at POST (-13.5; 95% CI = -29.5 to 2.47). SPPB did not differ between the two groups at LAST TRIAL (-0.06; 95% CI = -0.31 to 0.19) nor POST (-0.18; 95% CI = -0.45 to 0.088).

Conclusions:

Although sedentary at-risk older adults increased their physical activity during a structured physical activity intervention, they did not continue at this level following the cessation of intervention. Future exercise interventions need to include novel methods to support older adults in continued physical activity following structured interventions.

PMID:
29490012
PMCID:
PMC5905630
DOI:
10.1093/gerona/glx231
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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