Physical Performance Across the Adult Life Span: Correlates With Age and Physical Activity.
Background: A number of large-scale population studies have provided valuable information about physical performance in aged individuals; however, there is little information about trajectories of function and associations with age across the adult life span. We developed a mobility-focused physical performance screener designed to be appropriate for the adult life span. Methods: The physical performance battery includes measures of mobility, strength, endurance, and balance. Physical activity (PA) was assessed with accelerometry. We examined age-related trends in physical performance and PA, and the relationship between physical performance and PA across the age range (30-90+), by decade, in 775 participants enrolled in the study 2012-2014. Results: Physical performance was worse with increasing age decade. Although men performed better than women across all ages, the decrement by age group was similar between genders. Worsening physical performance was observed as early as the fifth decade for chair stands and balance and in the sixth decade for gait speed and aerobic endurance. The number and strength of significant associations between physical performance and PA increased with greater age: the greatest number of significant associations was seen in the 60-79 age groups, with fewer reported in the 30-59 and 80-90+ age groups. More PA was associated with better physical function. Conclusion: These results emphasize the importance of a life span approach to studies of function and aging. This work points to the need for a physical performance screener that spans across adulthood as a clinical tool for identifying functional decline.
Hall, KS; Cohen, HJ; Pieper, CF; Fillenbaum, GG; Kraus, WE; Huffman, KM; Cornish, MA; Shiloh, A; Flynn, C; Sloane, R; Newby, LK; Morey, MC
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