European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 109, Issue 5, pp 953–961 | Cite as

Yearlong physical activity and sarcopenia in older adults: the Nakanojo Study

  • Hyuntae Park
  • Sungjin Park
  • Roy J. Shephard
  • Yukitoshi Aoyagi
Original Article

Abstract

We tested the hypothesis that a low level of regular daily physical activity in elderly individuals would be associated with a clinically significant degree of sarcopenia. Subjects were 78 male and 97 female free-living Japanese, aged 65–84 years. A pedometer/accelerometer measured continuously the number of steps taken and the intensity of activity 24 h/day for 1 year. A whole-body dual X-ray absorptiometry scan assessed skeletal muscle mass in the upper and lower extremities at the end of the year. Sarcopenia was defined as a muscle mass/height2 value >1 SD below the mean for healthy young Japanese. Linear and exponential regressions showed that after controlling data for age and/or sex, muscle mass was associated with physical activity, more closely for the legs than for the arms, and for duration of moderate activity (>3 METs) than for step count. Muscle mass increased progressively with daily activity, although when data were categorized into quartiles, muscle mass was not significantly greater in men and women who exceeded, respectively, 8,000 and 6,900 steps/day and/or 22 and 19 min/day at >3 METs. All participants meeting such criteria exceeded our sarcopenia threshold. Multivariate-adjusted logistic regressions predicted that individuals who walked <5,300 steps/day and/or spent <15 min/day at >3 METs were, respectively, 2.00–2.66 and/or 2.03–4.55 times more likely to show sarcopenia than those who walked >7,800 steps/day and/or spent >23 min/day at >3 METs. Our hypothesis was proven correct: seniors who walked at least 7,000–8,000 steps/day and/or spent 15–20 min/day at an intensity of >3 METs were likely to have a muscle mass above the sarcopenia threshold.

Keywords

Aging Exercise duration Pedometer/accelerometer Skeletal muscle mass Step count 

References

  1. Aoyagi Y, Katsuta S (1990) Relationship between the starting age of training and physical fitness in old age. Can J Sport Sci 15(1):65–71PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Aoyagi Y, Shephard RJ (1992) Aging and muscle function. Sports Med 14(6):376–396CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Aoyagi Y, Shephard RJ (2009) Steps per day: the road to senior health? Sports Med 39(6):423–438. doi:10.2165/00007256-200939060-00001 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Aoyagi Y, Shephard RJ (2010) Habitual physical activity and health in the elderly: the Nakanojo Study. Geriatr Gerontol Int (in press)Google Scholar
  5. Aoyagi Y, Togo F, Matsuki S, Kumazaki Y, Inoue S, Takamiya T, Naka M, Shephard RJ (2004) Walking velocity measured over 5 m as a basis of exercise prescription for the elderly: preliminary data from the Nakanojo Study. Eur J Appl Physiol 93(1–2):217–223. doi:10.1007/s00421-004-1202-6 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Aoyagi Y, Park H, Watanabe E, Park S, Shephard RJ (2009) Habitual physical activity and physical fitness in older Japanese adults: the Nakanojo Study. Gerontology 55(5):523–531. doi:10.1159/000236326 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Aubertin-Leheudre M, Lord C, Goulet ED, Khalil A, Dionne IJ (2006) Effect of sarcopenia on cardiovascular disease risk factors in obese postmenopausal women. Obesity 14(12):2277–2283CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Baumgartner RN, Koehler KM, Gallagher D, Romero L, Heymsfield SB, Ross RR, Garry PJ, Lindeman RD (1998) Epidemiology of sarcopenia among the elderly in New Mexico. Am J Epidemiol 147(8):755–763PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Evans WJ (1995) What is sarcopenia? J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 50(Spec Iss):5–8PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Heymsfield SB, Smith R, Aulet M, Bensen B, Lichtman S, Wang J, Pierson RN Jr (1990) Appendicular skeletal muscle mass: measurement by dual-photon absorptiometry. Am J Clin Nutr 52(2):214–218PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Hughes VA, Frontera WR, Wood M, Evans WJ, Dallal GE, Roubenoff R, Fiatarone Singh MA (2001) Longitudinal muscle strength changes in older adults: influence of muscle mass, physical activity, and health. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 56(5):B209–B217PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Janssen I, Heymsfield SB, Ross R (2002) Low relative skeletal muscle mass (sarcopenia) in older persons is associated with functional impairment and physical disability. J Am Geriatr Soc 50(5):889–896CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Japan Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (2006) The 2004 National Health and Nutrition Survey in Japan (in Japanese). Daiichishuppan, TokyoGoogle Scholar
  14. Kumahara H, Schutz Y, Makoto A, Yoshioka M, Yoshitake Y, Shindo M, Ishii K, Tanaka H (2004) The use of uniaxial accelerometry for the assessment of physical-activity-related energy expenditure: a validation study against whole-body indirect calorimetry. Br J Nutr 91(2):235–243. doi:10.1079/BJN20031033 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Melton LJ 3rd, Khosla S, Crowson CS, O’Connor MK, O’Fallon WM, Riggs BL (2000) Epidemiology of sarcopenia. J Am Geriatr Soc 48(6):625–630PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Morley JE, Baumgartner RN, Roubenoff R, Mayer J, Nair KS (2001) Sarcopenia. J Lab Clin Med 137(4):231–243CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Nelson ME, Rejeski WJ, Blair SN, Duncan PW, Judge JO, King AC, Macera CA, Castaneda-Sceppa C (2007) Physical activity and public health in older adults: recommendation from the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association. Circulation 116(9):1094–1105. doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.107.185650 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Park H, Togo F, Watanabe E, Yasunaga A, Park S, Shephard RJ, Aoyagi Y (2007) Relationship of bone health to yearlong physical activity in older Japanese adults: cross-sectional data from the Nakanojo Study. Osteoporos Int 18(3):285–293. doi:10.1007/s00198-006-0237-4 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Park S, Park H, Togo F, Watanabe E, Yasunaga A, Yoshiuchi K, Shephard RJ, Aoyagi Y (2008) Year-long physical activity and metabolic syndrome in older Japanese adults: cross-sectional data from the Nakanojo Study. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 63(10):M1119–M1123Google Scholar
  20. Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (1998) Canada’s physical activity guide to healthy active living. http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/pau-uap/paguide/index.html (accessed 1 June 2009)
  21. Rantanen T, Era P, Heikkinen E (1997) Physical activity and the changes in maximal isometric strength in men and women from the age of 75 to 80 years. J Am Geriatr Soc 45(12):1439–1445PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Rimbert V, Montaurier C, Bedu M, Boirie Y, Morio B (2006) Behavioral and physiological regulation of body fatness: a cross-sectional study in elderly men. Int J Obes 30(2):322–330CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Roubenoff R, Castaneda C (2001) Sarcopenia—understanding the dynamics of aging muscle. JAMA 286(10):1230–1231CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Shephard RJ, Aoyagi Y (2009) Seasonal variations in physical activity and implications for human health. Eur J Appl Physiol 107(3):251–271. doi:10.1007/s00421-009-1127-1 Google Scholar
  25. Shephard RJ, Aoyagi Y (2010) Motion sensors and the physical activity needs of the elderly. Phys Ther Rev (in press)Google Scholar
  26. Short KR, Nair KS (1999) Mechanisms of sarcopenia of aging. J Endocrinol Invest 22(5 Suppl):95–105PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Starling RD, Ades PA, Poehlman ET (1999) Physical activity, protein intake, and appendicular skeletal muscle mass in older men. Am J Clin Nutr 70(1):91–96PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Stewart AL, Mills KM, King AC, Haskell WL, Gillis D, Ritter PL (2001) CHAMPS physical activity questionnaire for older adults: outcomes for interventions. Med Sci Sports Exerc 33(7):1126–1141PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Szulc P, Duboeuf F, Marchand F, Delmas PD (2004) Hormonal and lifestyle determinants of appendicular skeletal muscle mass in men: the MINOS Study. Am J Clin Nutr 80(2):496–503PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Togo F, Watanabe E, Park H, Shephard RJ, Aoyagi Y (2005) Meteorology and the physical activity of the elderly: the Nakanojo Study. Int J Biometeorol 50(2):83–89. doi:10.1007/s00484-005-0277-z CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Togo F, Watanabe E, Park H, Yasunaga A, Park S, Shephard RJ, Aoyagi Y (2008) How many days of pedometer use predict the annual activity of the elderly reliably? Med Sci Sports Exerc 40(6):1058–1064. doi:10.1249/MSS.0b013e318167469a CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Visser M, Deeg DJ, Lips P, Harris TB, Bouter LM (2000) Skeletal muscle mass and muscle strength in relation to lower-extremity performance in older men and women. J Am Geriatr Soc 48(4):381–386PubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Yasunaga A, Togo F, Watanabe E, Park H, Shephard RJ, Aoyagi Y (2006) Yearlong physical activity and health-related quality of life in older Japanese adults: the Nakanojo Study. J Aging Phys Act 14(3):288–301PubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Yasunaga A, Park H, Watanabe E, Togo F, Park S, Shephard RJ, Aoyagi Y (2007) Development and evaluation of the physical activity questionnaire for elderly Japanese: the Nakanojo Study. J Aging Phys Act 15(4):398–411PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Yasunaga A, Togo F, Watanabe E, Park H, Park S, Shephard RJ, Aoyagi Y (2008) Sex, age, season, and habitual physical activity of older Japanese: the Nakanojo Study. J Aging Phys Act 16(1):3–13PubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Yoshiuchi K, Nakahara R, Kumano H, Kuboki T, Togo F, Watanabe E, Yasunaga A, Park H, Shephard RJ, Aoyagi Y (2006) Yearlong physical activity and depressive symptoms in older Japanese adults: cross-sectional data from the Nakanojo Study. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry 14(7):621–624CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hyuntae Park
    • 1
  • Sungjin Park
    • 1
  • Roy J. Shephard
    • 2
  • Yukitoshi Aoyagi
    • 1
  1. 1.Exercise Sciences Research GroupTokyo Metropolitan Institute of GerontologyTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Faculty of Physical Education and HealthUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

Personalised recommendations