Objectives. This study examined the association between recreational physical activity among physically capable older adults and functional status, incidence of selected chronic conditions, and mortality over 3 and 6 years. Methods. Data are from three sites of the Established Populations for Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly. Results. A high level of recreational physical activity reduced the likelihood of mortality over both 3 and 6 years. Moderate to high activity reduced the risk of physical impairments over 3 years: this effect diminishes after 6 years. A consistent relationship between activity and new myocardial infarction or stroke or the incidence of diabetes or angina was not found after 3 or 6 years. Conclusions. Findings suggest that physical activity offers benefits to physically capable older adults, primarily in reducing the risk of functional decline and mortality. Future work must use more objective and quantifiable measures of activity and assess changes in activity levels over time.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health