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Original articles  EPIDEMIOLOGY AND CLINICAL MEDICINE 

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2004 March;44(1):71-6

Copyright © 2009 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Physical activity in young and elderly subjects

Krems C., Lührmann P. M., Neuhäuser-Berthold M.

Institute of Nutritional Sciences University of Giessen, Giessen, Germany


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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.

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