"We found that fitness level had the strongest association with physical activity, followed by gender and season. This means that fit older adults were more active than the unfit, females were more active than males and physical activity was higher in the warmer months of the year. In addition we found that higher education was associated with higher physical activity for males, but not for females. Among other interesting results, we found that the social environmental correlates, such as social support and living situation, were not associated with physical activity among the elderly", says the two first authors of the study, Hallgeir Viken and Nils Petter Aspvik, PhD candidates at NTNU.
In the study newly published in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, researchers from the K.G. Jebsen Center for Exercise in Medicine – Cardiac Exercise Research Group (CERG) and the Department of Sociology and Political Science at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) Norway have examined how background factors (correlates) are associated with overall physical activity among older adults.
The authors wanted to identify how demographics and physical activity history, environmental and biological correlates were associated with objectively measured physical activity among older adults.
The researchers analyzed cross-sectional physical activity data measured with a waist-worn accelerometer (7 days), from 850 older adults participating in the Generation 100 study. Participants were 70-77 years old and living in the city of Trondheim, Norway.
"Correlate studies are important because they examine how background factors can be associated with physical activity behavior. This in turn is important knowledge when developing and adapting physical activity interventions. This is to our knowledge the largest study of physical activity correlates among older adults that has combined objectively measured physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF)", says the two first authors of the study, Hallgeir Viken and Nils Petter Aspvik, PhD candidates at NTNU.