Title

The relationship between obesity, physical activity, and physical function in older adults

Document Type

Article

Date of Original Version

12-1-2009

Abstract

Objective: This study investigated the relationship between overweight and obesity, age, and gender with physical activity and physical function in community-dwelling older men and women. Method: Multivariate analysis of covariance was used to analyze differences between normal weight, overweight, and obese adults (n = 821) above the age of 60 years. Results: Obesity but not overweight was associated with lower levels of physical activity and physical function. Within BMI groups, individuals who were physically active were less likely to have abnormal physical function scores compared to those who were sedentary. Compared to men, obese women had lower physical function scores, placing them at higher risk for future disability. Aging was associated with lower levels of physical activity and physical function. Discussion: The study illustrates the importance of avoiding obesity and participating in regular physical activity to prevent or slow down the loss of functioning in older age.

Publication Title

Journal of Aging and Health

Volume

21

Issue

8

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