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.
Little is known about the wellbeing and mobility limitation of older disability retirees. Personal and environmental factors, such as time spent in working life, may either exacerbate or mitigate the onset of mobility limitation in general population. We aimed to study perceived midlife work ability as a determinant of self-reported mobility limitation in old age among municipal employees who transitioned into non-disability and disability retirement.
4329 participants of the Finnish Longitudinal Study of Municipal Employees (FLAME) had retired during January 1985 and July 2000. They had data on retirement, perceived work ability in 1985, and self-reported mobility limitation (non-disability retirement n = 2870, men 39%; and diagnose-specific disability retirement n = 1459, men 48%). Self-reported mobility was measured in 1985, 1992, 1997 and 2009. The latest score available was used to assess the number of mobility limitation. Work ability was measured by asking the respondents to evaluate their current work ability against their lifetime best in 1985. Incidence rate ratios (IRRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for work ability predicting mobility limitation in non-disability and diagnose-specific disability retirement groups were calculated using Poisson regression models.
The prevalence of mobility limitation for those who transitioned into non-disability retirement (Incidence Rate, IR = 0.45, 95% CI = 0.44-0.46) was lower compared to those who retired due to disability (IR = 0.65, CI = 0.63-0.66). A one-point increase in the work ability score decreased the risk for having one more mobility limitation among non-disability and all diagnose-specific retirement groups (musculoskeletal disease, cardiovascular disease, mental disorder, and other diseases).
Better midlife work ability may protect from old age mobility limitation among those who retire due to non-disability and disability. Promoting work ability in midlife may lead to more independent, active aging, regardless of type of retirement.
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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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