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Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Esporte
On-line version ISSN 1806-9940
KRAUSE, Maressa Priscila et al. Influence of the level of physical activity over the cardiorespiratory capacity in older women. Rev Bras Med Esporte [online]. 2007, vol.13, n.2, pp. 97-102. ISSN 1806-9940. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1517-86922007000200006.
As age progresses, a decrease of daily activities and reduction of functionality where the cardiorespiratory capacity may be considered one of the most affected components, is faced. The aim of this study was to examine the association between level of physical activity and cardiorespiratory capacity in older women. Nine hundred and sixty women age above 60 years, non-institutionalized, divided in five age groups were evaluated: F1 (60-64 years; n = 286); F2 (65-69 years; n = 295); F3 (70-74 years; n = 207); F4 (75-79 years; n = 120) and F5 (> 80 years; n = 52). The level of physical activity was determined from the Modified Baecke Questionnaire for Older Adults, consisting of domestic, sports and recreational activities, in which the level of total physical activity was classified by the sum of these three components. The cardiorespiratory capacity was measured with the Six-Minute Gait Test. The cardiorespiratory capacity decreased an average of 24.5% and the level of physical activity 18.0% in this study. When examining the influences of the terciles of the level of physical activity concerning the cardiorespiratory capacity, the analysis of variance demonstrated that the superior tercile of the total physical activity level was the one which presented the lowest decrease in the cardiorespiratory capacity of 16.7%. However, the sports category of the physical activity level demonstrated differentiated values in the reduction of the cardiorespiratory capacity, where the non-practitioner of physical exercises sub-group presented the highest decrease of 18.6%, while the moderate practitioner sub-group decreased 16.3%, revealing hence the positive influence of moderate physical exercises practice over the cardiorespiratory capacity (p < 0.05). Higher physical activity, especially higher sports physical activity, may attenuate the decrease of cardiorespiratory capacity in older women, since women practitioners of moderate physical activities presented lower reduction of such capacity. Increase of physical activities is recommended, especially regular physical exercises, in order to attenuate the decrease of cardiorespiratory capacity, consequently aiding the maintenance of an independent life.
Keywords : Aging; Physical activity; Exercise.