The level of physical activity as an intervening factor in the cognitive state of primary care older adults

Daniel Vicentini de Oliveira Veridiane Brigato de Oliveira Géssica Aline Caruzo Áurea Gonçalves Ferreira José Roberto Andrade do Nascimento Júnior Paolo Marcello da Cunha Cláudia Regina Cavaglieri About the authors


This study proposed to evaluate the level of physical activity and the cognitive state of elderly users of Primary Care Facilities (UBS) of the Municipality of Maringá, State of Paraná, Brazil. This is a descriptive, cross-sectional, epidemiological study with 654 elderly men and women UBS users. A sociodemographic questionnaire, the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) and the short version of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) were employed. Data was analyzed using the Kolmogorov-Smirnov, Chi-square, Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney “U” tests, with a significance level of p<0.05. However, they evidenced a high score in temporal orientation (Md = 5.0), spatial orientation (Md = 5.0), immediate memory (Md = 3.0), recall (Md = 3.0) and language (Md = 8.0). When comparing the mental state according to the level of physical activity of the elderly, we observed that very active/active individuals had better attention and calculation (p = 0.036), recall (p = 0.001) and general cognitive status (p = 0.002) against irregularly active and sedentary elderly. Adequate levels of physical activity may be related to better scores of cognitive functions of elderly subjects.

Key words
Motor activity; Cognition; Gerontology; Health promotion

ABRASCO - Associação Brasileira de Saúde Coletiva Av. Brasil, 4036 - sala 700 Manguinhos, 21040-361 Rio de Janeiro RJ - Brazil, Tel.: +55 21 3882-9153 / 3882-9151 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil