Anthropometry in 55–75-Year Olds in Response to Exercise

  • Melanie I. Stuckey
  • Anna M. Chudyk
  • Robert J. Petrella


As the population ages, physical activity in older adults is increasingly important for the maintenance of health and independence to prevent further burden on the health care system and to preserve quality of life. As people age, they tend to do less activity at a lower intensity. This leads to decreased energy expenditure and ultimately body composition changes that have adverse effects. Increased fat mass is related to development of diabetes and other cardiovascular diseases. Decreased muscle mass leads to frailty, falls and loss of independence. Decreased bone mineral density often results in osteoporosis, which increases the risk of fracture and subsequent morbidity and mortality. While physical activity and exercise cannot necessarily reverse the aging process, these changes can be significantly attenuated if sufficient activity is performed. Aerobic exercise has positive effects on the cardiovascular system and may reduce fat mass. Unfortunately, it may result in reduced muscle mass and it does not have positive effects on bone mineral density unless it is weight bearing exercise of sufficient intensity. Progressive resistance training effectively maintains muscle mass and bone mineral density and may reduce fat mass, depending on the protocol. Resistance exercise improves glycaemic control in diabetics and it is the best type of exercise to reduce the risk of falling. One of the most effective ways to trigger a behaviour change in older adults is for the advice to come from a physician. Indeed, physician prescribed exercise has been shown to positively affect anthropometric indices, fitness and cardiovascular risk factors in older adults.


Bone Mineral Density Muscle Mass Resistance Exercise Aerobic Exercise Lean Mass 



American College of Sports Medicine


Bone mineral density


Body mass index


Computed tomography


Cardiovascular disease


Diabetes and technology for increased activity


Dual energy x-ray absorptiometry


Glycated haemoglobin


Heart rate reserve


Magnetic resonance imaging


Magnetic resonance spectroscopy


Progressive resistance training


Staged Nutrition and Activity Counseling


Sarcopenic obesity


Step Test Exercise Prescription


Oxygen uptake


Maximal oxygen uptake


Peak oxygen uptake


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melanie I. Stuckey
  • Anna M. Chudyk
  • Robert J. Petrella
    • 1
  1. 1.Lawson Health Research Institute, Faculties of Health Science and MedicineUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada

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