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The journal of nutrition, health & aging

, Volume 20, Issue 7, pp 752–758 | Cite as

Accelerometer assessment of physical activity and its association with physical function in older adults residing at assisted care facilities

  • Michael P. Corcoran
  • K. K. H. Chui
  • D. K. White
  • K. F. Reid
  • D. Kirn
  • M. E. Nelson
  • J. M. Sacheck
  • S. C. Folta
  • R. A. Fielding
Article

Abstract

Objectives

To describe levels of physical activity among older adults residing at assisted care facilities and their association with physical function.

Design

Cross-sectional analysis.

Setting

Assisted care facilities within the greater Boston, MA area.

Participants

Older adults aged 65 years and older (N = 65).

Measurements

Physical Activity Level (PAL) as defined by quartiles from accelerometry (counts and steps), Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) Score, gait speed, and handgrip strength.

Results

Participants in the most active accelerometry quartile engaged in 25 minutes/week of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and walked 2,150 steps/day. These individuals had an SPPB score, 400 meter walk speed, and handgrip strength that was 3.7–3.9 points, 0.3–0.4 meters/second, and 4.5–5.1 kg greater respectively, than individuals in the lowest activity quartile, who engaged in less than 5 min/wk of MVPA or took fewer than 460 steps/day.

Conclusion

Despite engaging in physical activity levels far below current recommendations (150 min/week of MVPA or > 7000 steps/day), the most active older adults in this study exhibited clinically significant differences in physical function relative to their less active peers. While the direction of causality cannot be determined from this cross-sectional study, these findings suggest a strong association between PAL and physical function among older adults residing in an assisted care facility.

Keywords

Physical activity physical function older adults assisted care facilities 

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Copyright information

© Serdi and Springer-Verlag France 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael P. Corcoran
    • 1
    • 5
  • K. K. H. Chui
    • 2
  • D. K. White
    • 3
  • K. F. Reid
    • 4
  • D. Kirn
    • 4
  • M. E. Nelson
    • 1
    • 4
  • J. M. Sacheck
    • 1
    • 4
  • S. C. Folta
    • 1
    • 4
  • R. A. Fielding
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Friedman School of Nutrition Science and PolicyTufts UniversityBostonUSA
  2. 2.Tufts University School of MedicineTufts UniversityBostonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Physical TherapyUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA
  4. 4.Nutrition, Exercise Physiology, and Sarcopenia Laboratory, Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on AgingTufts UniversityBostonUSA
  5. 5.Assistant Professor of Health SciencesMerrimack CollegeNorth AndoverUSA

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