Structured Physical Activity in Older Persons

January 2017

Ageing

Country of origin: USA

Individuals aged 70 to 89 years who could walk 400 meters despite functional limitations were randomized to participate in a long-term, structured physical activity program or receive a health education intervention to assess the impact on the burden of and transition to major mobility disability (MMD), defined as being unable to walk 400 meters. During a median follow-up of 2.7 years, the physical activity group showed a significantly lower progression to MMD compared with the health education group, giving a risk ratio of 0.75. The hazard ratios for comparing physical activity with health education were 0.87 for the transition to MMD, 0.52 for having no MMD before death, 1.33 for MMD vs no MMD, and 1.92 for MMD before death.

In older people with some physical limitations, a structured physical activity program significantly reduces the burden of MMD.

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