Document Type


Date of Original Version



Health Studies


ut disabilities

Sport Sciences for Health (2020)Cite this article



To identify sociodemographic and health correlates of meeting the muscle strengthening (MS) exercise recommendations in middle-aged and older adults by disability status.


Respondents from the 2011 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System were stratified by disability status (with disability, without disability), age [ages 45–64 (middle-aged), 65 + years of age (older adults)] and whether they met MS recommendations (yes, no). Two logistic regression models were run to evaluate whether perceived health status and sociodemographic characteristics were associated with meeting the MS recommendations by disability status.


The sample included 477,662. Middle-aged persons were 20% more likely than older adults to meet the MS recommendations. Persons with a disability were less likely to meet muscle strengthening recommendations compared with those without. Persons with a disability who reported having poor health were ~ 65% less likely to meet the MS recommendation than those reporting excellent health. Furthermore, those with a disability and with one or more chronic diseases were nearly 40% less likely to meet the MS recommendation than no disability. Among respondents without disability, being Black and being a healthy weight or underweight increased the odds of meeting the MS recommendations.


Several health and sociodemographic factors were associated with not meeting MS recommendations. Persons with disability and poor health, had the lowest likelihood of participation. Studies are needed to understand whether improving MS exercise behavior may attenuate functional limitations associated with chronic diseases and aging.