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Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná, Fisioterapia em Movimento, (36), 2023

DOI: 10.1590/fm.2023.36134



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Physical fitness according to the level of physical activity in older people: a cross-sectional analysis

This paper is made freely available by the publisher.
This paper is made freely available by the publisher.

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Abstract Introduction Aging is marked by physiological changes and a decrease in physical activity. These aspects can have repercussions, namely declining functionality and increasing likelihood of adverse events. Objective To compare performance in physical fitness tests of sufficiently and insufficiently active older people. Methods Epidemiological population study, cross-sectional, carried out with 209 older people (58.4% women) from Aiquara/BA. Sociodemographic information was obtained by means of interviews. Physical fitness was measured by means of the following tests: handgrip strength, chair stand, arm curl, timed up and go, sit and reach and step in place. The level of physical activity was checked by the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (<150 min/week physical activity = insufficiently active). Comparisons were made using the Student t-test or Mann-Whitney U-test, according to the distribution of normality determined by the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test (p ≤ 0.05). Results We found that 51.70% of the participants were insufficiently active (men: 66.66%; women: 40.98%). In addition, insufficiently active participants of both sexes performed less well in the handgrip strength, chair stand, arm curl, timed up and go and step in place tests (p < 0.05). Moreover, insufficiently active men showed lower performance in the sit and reach test than sufficiently active men (p < 0.05). Conclusion Insufficiently active older women and men have lower muscle strength/resistance, dynamic balance/agility and cardiorespiratory endurance. Furthermore, insufficiently active men show less flexibility than those sufficiently active.