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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Boston, Massachusetts » Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #358062

Research Project: Sarcopenia, Nutrition, and Physical Activity

Location: Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging

Title: Does physical activity change after progressive resistance exercise in functionally limited older adults?

Author
item Laussen, Jonathan - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University
item Chale, Angela - Montclair State University
item Hau, Cynthia - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University
item Fielding, Roger - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University
item White, Daniel - University Of Delaware

Submitted to: Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/8/2014
Publication Date: 2/17/2015
Citation: Laussen, J.C., Chale, A., Hau, C., Fielding, R.A., White, D.K. 2015. Does physical activity change after progressive resistance exercise in functionally limited older adults? Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 63(2):392-393. https://doi.org/10.1111/jgs.13270.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/jgs.13270

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Engaging in regular physical activity is essential for maintaining health and quality of life. Therefore, it is of particular concern that physical activity tends to decline with age. A potential reason for this decline is the onset of physical limitations such as difficulty walking or climbing stairs. The age-related loss of muscle mass and strength have been linked to these limitations. It is known resistance training can improve muscle strength and physical function in physically-limited older adults; however, it is unclear whether resistance training also improves physical activity levels. We compared changes in physical activity and physical function following a six month resistance training program. Our analysis included 45 older adults with functional limitations aged 70-85 that completed a six month progressive resistance training program. Physical function was objectively assessed by subjects' ability to climb ten stairs, rise repeatedly from a chair and walk a quarter mile. Physical activity was measured by an accelerometer and classified into time spent sedentary and at different intensity levels (i.e. light, moderate, vigorous). We found that performance in all physical function measures improved significantly from baseline to six months, but there was no significant change in physical activity at any intensity level. This suggests that even though subjects improved their physical capability of engaging in physical activity, there was no resulting increase in physical activity behavior. Thus, intervention targeting strength alone may not suffice to increase physical activity in older adults with functional limitation.