Physical factors affecting daily walking activities among elderly female residents of a care house

  • Yuji Yanagimoto
  • Yoshiharu Oshida
  • Yuzo Sato
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/BF02931248

Cite this article as:
Yanagimoto, Y., Oshida, Y. & Sato, Y. Environ Health Prev Med (1999) 4: 34. doi:10.1007/BF02931248

Abstract

To understand the physical and other factors related to walking among the elderly residents of a Care House for the aged, the total number of steps walked were measured over a period of 1 week (Nov. 6–12. 1994) for 67 female residents (mean age 79 ± 1 years). In addition, walking speed, stride length, and the time to climb 15 steps (stair-climbing time) were measured. To understand the indirect factors such as balance and agility that may control walking, tests were conducted on the subjects’ ability to stand on one leg with eyes open and closed, and jumping reaction time. Results showed a negative correlation between total number of steps and age (r=-0.543, P< 0.01), jumping reaction time (r=-0.258, p<0.05) and stair-climbing time (r=-0.501, P< 0.01).

However, a positive correlation was found between total number of steps and stride length (r=0.408, P< 0.01), walking speed (r=0.419, P< 0.01), self-rated health (r= 0.390, P< 0.05) and standing on one leg with eyes closed (r=0.258, P< 0.05). The total number of steps walked and physical factors, particularly physique and balance, were also closely related. The above suggests that a walking habit among elderly persons helps to slow the decline in physical strength, which is necessary to prevent falls. It is also reflected in the person’s awareness of health and may increase the opportunities for leading an active daily life.

Key words

care house aged people walking activity ability to stand on one leg with eyes closed self-rated health 

Copyright information

© Japanese Society of Hygiene 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuji Yanagimoto
    • 1
  • Yoshiharu Oshida
    • 2
  • Yuzo Sato
    • 2
  1. 1.Hyogo CollegeHyogo
  2. 2.Research Center of Health, Physical Fitness and SportsNagoya UniversityFuro-cho, Chikusa-ku, NagoyaJapan

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