Is light physical activity associated with good balance in older community-dwelling adults?

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Physical activity promotion for older adults often focuses on moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity (PA), but older adults may be more likely to engage in low intensity PA due to functional limitations. The benefits associated with LPA for general health are emerging but the benefits for balance are lacking. Additionally, self-reported measures of physical activity are more commonly used due to ease of implementation and costs. Self-reported measures which are subject to bias which may lead to an underestimation of LPA. This study examined the relationship between objectively measured LPA and balance measured using balance items from the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) in an EU wide cohort of older adults (n=1360), recruited as part of the Sitless study. Participants wore ActiGraph wGT3X+ accelerometers for one week and completed side by side stand, semi-tandem, tandem, and chair stand tests. A multiple linear regression, adjusted for socio-demographic characteristics, was calculated to predict balance based on LPA. The mean age of the sample was 75.27 (St. dev=6.29) years; 62% were female, 75% had a secondary education or above, 78% were overweight or obese, 53% were married/in a stable relationship, 52% were living with a husband/wife or partner; 69% experienced good to excellent health. LPA was found to be a statistically significant independent predictor of side by side stand (r=0.03), semi-tandem stand (r=0.05), full tandem (r=0.09), and chair stand (r=0.11). These findings suggest that objectively measured LPA is important for objectively measured balance performance in older adults, providing further evidence of the potential health benefits of LPA for older adults.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 19 Sept 2019
EventExercise is medicine - Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 19 Sept 201920 Sept 2019


ConferenceExercise is medicine
Abbreviated titleEIM


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