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THE JOURNAL OF SPORTS MEDICINE AND PHYSICAL FITNESS
A Journal on Applied Physiology, Biomechanics, Preventive Medicine,
Sports Medicine and Traumatology, Sports Psychology
Indexed/Abstracted in: Chemical Abstracts, CINAHL, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,111
Original articles EPIDEMIOLOGY AND CLINICAL MEDICINE
The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2004 March;44(1):71-6
Physical activity in young and elderly subjects
Krems C., Lührmann P. M., Neuhäuser-Berthold M.
Institute of Nutritional Sciences University of Giessen, Giessen, Germany
Aim. In the current recommendations for energy intake of different countries as well as in the international WHO recommendations for energy intake it is assumed that the elderly are less physically active than young adults. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to compare physical activity patterns and physical activity level (PAL) of young and elderly subjects.
Methods. In 178 female (age 67.8±5.7 y, BMI 26.4±3.7 kg/m2) and 107 male (age 66.9±5.1 y, BMI 26.3±3.1 kg/m2) participants of the longitudinal study on nutrition and health status in an aging population of Giessen, Germany as well as in a young age group consisting of 154 women (age 24.8±3.0 y, BMI 21.0±2.2 kg/m2) and 68 men (age 26.8±3.4 y, BMI 23.3±2.4 kg/m2) different activities like occupational work, housework, gardening, walking and sports were assessed by a questionnaire. Energy expenditure of the different activities was calculated using multipliers for resting metabolic rate (RMR) according to the WHO. The same multipliers were used for young and elderly subjects. RMR was measured by indirect calorimetry after an overnight fast. PAL of the subjects was calculated as total energy expenditure divided by RMR.
Results. Young adults did more occupational work and performed more sports than elderly subjects. In contrast elderly women did more housework in comparison to young women, and elderly men walked more than young men. Both elderly women and men did more gardening than young women and men. In elderly women, PAL was significantly higher in comparison to young women, whereas PAL of young and elderly men did not differ significantly.
Conclusion. The results indicate that despite different activity patterns, the young-old do not necessarily show a lower PAL than young subjects.