Population aging increases the need for knowledge on positive aspects of aging, and contributions of older people to their own wellbeing and that of others. We defined active aging as an individual's striving for elements of wellbeing with activities as per their goals, abilities and opportunities. This study examines associations of health, health behaviors, health literacy and functional abilities, environmental and social support with active aging and wellbeing. We will develop and validate assessment methods for physical activity and physical resilience suitable for research on older people, and examine their associations with active aging and wellbeing. We will examine cohort effects on functional phenotypes underlying active aging and disability.
For this population-based study, we plan to recruit 1000 participants aged 75, 80 or 85 years living in central Finland, by drawing personal details from the population register. Participants are interviewed on active aging, wellbeing, disability, environmental and social support, mobility, health behavior and health literacy. Physical activity and heart rate are monitored for 7 days with wearable sensors. Functional tests include hearing, vision, muscle strength, reaction time, exercise tolerance, mobility, and cognitive performance. Clinical examination by a nurse and physician includes an electrocardiogram, tests of blood pressure, orthostatic regulation, arterial stiffness, and lung function, as well as a review of chronic and acute conditions and prescribed medications. C-reactive protein, small blood count, cholesterol and vitamin D are analyzed from blood samples. Associations of factors potentially underlying active aging and wellbeing will be studied using multivariate methods. Cohort effects will be studied by comparing test results of physical and cognitive functioning with results of a cohort examined in 1989-90.
The current study will renew research on positive gerontology through the novel approach to active aging and by suggesting new biomarkers of resilience and active aging. Therefore, high interdisciplinary impact is expected. This cross-sectional study will not provide knowledge on temporal order of events or causality, but an innovative cross-sectional dataset provides opportunities for emergence of novel creative hypotheses and theories.
To profile participants based on reported outdoor physical activity barriers using a data-driven approach, describe the profiles and study their association with unmet physical activity need.
Cross-sectional analyses of 848 community-dwelling men and women aged 75-90 living in Central Finland in 2012. Barriers to outdoor physical activity and unmet physical activity need were enquired with a questionnaire. The latent profiles were identified by profiling participants into latent groups using a mixture modeling technique on the multivariate set of indicators of outdoor physical activity barriers. A path model was used to study the associations of the profiles with unmet physical activity need.
Five barrier profiles were identified. Profile A was characterized with minor barriers, profile B with weather barriers, profile C with health and weather barriers, profile D with barriers concerning insecurity, health and weather; and profile E with mobility and health barriers. The participants in the profiles differed in the proportion of individual and environmental barriers. The risk for unmet physical activity need was highest among people whose severe mobility difficulties restricted their outdoor physical activity.
Outdoor physical activity barriers reflect the imbalance in person-environment fit among older people, manifested as unmet physical activity need.
The aim of this study was to describe the underlying theory and the implementation of a 2-year individualized physical activity counseling intervention and to evaluate whether benefits persisted 1.5 years after the intervention. The sample included 632 sedentary 75- to 81-year-old participants. Data were collected in 2003-2005. The participants were randomly assigned to an intervention group and a control group. The intervention consisted of an individualized face-to-face meeting followed by telephone contacts every 4 months for 2 years, with the aim to increase participation in specific physical activities as well as to increase habitual physical activity. At the 2-year follow-up, the prevalence of physical activities in the intervention group vs. control group was as follows: supervised calisthenics training 20 vs. 16%, walking for fitness 69 vs. 62%, weight training 13 vs. 8% and water aerobics 19 vs. 7%. For water aerobics and walking for fitness, the treatment effect was significant [water aerobics odds ratio (OR) 2.49, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.16-5.36, walking for fitness OR 1.58, 95% CI 1.05-2.40]. As to the other activities, the effect did not reach statistical significance. At the 1.5-year post-intervention, the follow-up results indicated that the intervention effect was still evident. The subgroup analyses suggested that physical activity counseling may be most efficacious among people with intact mobility, while those having manifest mobility limitations may not benefit from it. Older people who have manifest mobility limitations may need more face-to-face counseling.
The aim of this study was to investigate whether persistent leisure-time physical activity, adjusted for genetic liability and childhood experiences, protects against chronic diseases, early signs of disability, and loss of life satisfaction.
From 5663 healthy adult twin pairs, we identified 146 pairs who were discordant for both intensity and volume of leisure physical activity in 1975 and 1981. Of them, both members of 95 pairs were alive and participated in our follow-up study in 2005 when chronic diseases (such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and osteoarthritis), life satisfaction, and disability were assessed by a structured telephone interview. The mean age of the participants was 58 yr (range = 47-79 yr) in 2005. Paired tests were used in the analyses.
At the end of follow-up, the active cotwins had a decreased risk of reporting at least one chronic diseases, whereas active monozygotic (MZ) twins had two or more chronic diseases significantly less often than their inactive cotwins (odds ratio [OR] = 0.14, P = 0.031). Overall, the risk for type 2 diabetes or glucose intolerance (OR = 0.09, P = 0.022) and elevated blood pressure (OR = 0.46, P = 0.039) was decreased among the active cotwins. These effects were seen clearly among dizygotic twins but not always among small number of monozygotic twins. The active cotwins reported greater life satisfaction (P = 0.047) and tended to be less likely to be hospitalized (P = 0.065), although active cotwins had somewhat more sports-related injuries (OR = 1.9, P = 0.051) than inactive cotwins. Studied disability variables did not differ between the active and the inactive cotwins.
Physical activity reduces the risk for chronic diseases and helps in maintaining life satisfaction. However, genetic factors may play a role in this association because some findings emerged more clearly among dizygotic than monozygotic twins discordant for physical activity.
essential aspects of independence in community mobility among older people concern the control over where, when and how to participate (perceived autonomy), and actual mobility (life-space mobility; frequency, distance and need of assistance). We studied relationships between frailty and life-space mobility and perceived autonomy in participation outdoors among community-dwelling 75-90 years old people.
longitudinal analyses of the 'Life-space mobility in old age' cohort study (n = 753). Life-space mobility (Life-Space Assessment, range 0-120) and perceived autonomy in participation outdoors (Impact on Participation and Autonomy subscale 'autonomy outdoors', range 0-20) were assessed at baseline and 2 years later. Baseline frailty indicators were unintentional weight loss (self-report), weakness (5 times chair rise), exhaustion (self-report), slowness (2.44 m walk) and low physical activity (self-report).
in total, 53% had no frailty, 43% pre-frailty (1-2 frailty indicators) and 4% frailty (=3 indicators). Generalised estimation equation models showed that life-space mobility was lower among those with frailty and pre-frailty compared with those without frailty and, in addition, declined at a faster pace. Perceived autonomy in participation outdoors was more restricted among those with frailty and pre-frailty compared with those without frailty, but the rate of decline did not differ.
frailty was associated with more restricted life-space mobility and poorer perceived autonomy in the decision-making concerning community mobility. Over the follow-up, frailty predicted a steeper decline in life-space mobility but not in perceived autonomy. Further study is warranted to determine whether compensation strategies or changes in the valuation of activities underlie this discrepancy.
This study investigated the associations of personal goals with exercise activity, as well as the relationships between exercise-related and other personal goals, among older women. Both cross-sectional and longitudinal designs were used with a sample of 308 women ages 66-79 at baseline. Women who reported exercise-related personal goals were 4 times as likely to report high exercise activity at baseline than those who did not report exercise-related goals. Longitudinal results were parallel. Goals related to cultural activities, as well as to busying oneself around the home, coincided with exercise-related goals, whereas goals related to own and other people's health and independent living lowered the odds of having exercise-related goals. Helping older adults to set realistic exercise-related goals that are compatible with their other life goals may yield an increase in their exercise activity, but this should be evaluated in a controlled trial.
Life-space mobility - the spatial extent of mobility in daily life - is associated with quality of life and physical functioning but may also be influenced by future orientation expressed in personal goals. The aim of this study was to explore how different personal goals predict changes in older people's life-space mobility.
This prospective cohort study with a 2-year follow-up included 824 community-dwelling people aged 75 to 90 years from the municipalities of Jyväskylä and Muurame in Central Finland. As part of the Life-Space Mobility in Old Age study (LISPE), which was conducted between 2012 and 2014, the participants responded to the Life-Space Assessment and Personal Project Analysis in addition to questions on socio-demographics and health. Data were analyzed using generalized estimation equation models.
The results showed that goals indicating a desire to be active in daily life, to stay mentally alert, and to exercise were associated with higher life-space mobility, and that the associations remained over the follow-up years. Goals related to maintaining functioning predicted higher life-space mobility at the 2-year follow-up. In contrast, goals reflecting improvement of poor physical functioning predicted lower life-space mobility. The results remained significant even when adjusted for indicators of health and functioning.
This study indicates that supporting older people in striving for relevant personal goals in their lives might contribute to a larger life-space and thus also to improved quality of life in old age.
The aim was to study objectively assessed walkability of the environment and participant perceived environmental facilitators for outdoor mobility as predictors of physical activity in older adults with and without physical limitations. 75-90-year-old adults living independently in Central Finland were interviewed (n = 839) and reassessed for self-reported physical activity one or two years later (n = 787). Lower-extremity physical limitations were defined as Short Physical Performance Battery score =9. Number of perceived environmental facilitators was calculated from a 16-item checklist. Walkability index (land use mix, street connectivity, population density) of the home environment was calculated from geographic information and categorized into tertiles. Accelerometer-based step counts were registered for one week (n = 174). Better walkability was associated with higher numbers of perceived environmental facilitators (p
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