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Brazilian Journal of Physical Therapy

versión impresa ISSN 1413-3555


HERNANDES, Nidia A et al. Physical activity in daily life in physically independent elderly participating in community-based exercise program. Braz. J. Phys. Ther. [online]. 2013, vol.17, n.1, pp.57-63.  Epub 02-Nov-2012. ISSN 1413-3555.

BACKGROUND: It is unclear whether participation in exercise programs specifically developed for elderly translates into a more active lifestyle. OBJECTIVES: To compare the objectively measured level of physical activity in daily life (PADL) between physically independent elderly who participate or do not participate in community-based exercise programs; and to evaluate which factors are associated with the higher level of PADL in these subjects. METHOD: 134 elderly participants in community-based exercise programs (PG) and 104 non-participants (NPG) had their level of PADL measured using pedometers during 7 days. Other measurements: 6-minute walking test (6MWT), incremental shuttle walking test (ISWT), muscle strength, flexibility and balance. RESULTS: The PG had higher 1-week mean daily step count than NPG (8314 [IQR 5971-10060] vs. 6250 [IQR 4346-8207] steps/day, p<0.0001), as well as higher step count in any day of the week. There was a higher proportion of physically active subjects (>8000 steps/day) in PG than in NPG (37% vs. 16%, respectively; p<0.001), as well as the proportion of sedentary subjects (<5000 steps/day) (14% vs. 33%, respectively; p<0.001). Participation in exercise programs, 6MWT and ISWT explained a higher daily steps count (model r2=0.56, p<0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: In physically independent elderly, a higher level of physical activity in daily life occurs in those who participate in community-based exercise programs, regardless of the weekday and including non-program days. Participation of elderly in community-based exercise programs should be more systematically available and encouraged due to its close link to higher activity levels and better exercise capacity.

Palabras clave : aged; motor activity; exercise; rehabilitation; regression analysis.

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