The role of energetic cost in the age-related slowing of gait speed

Jennifer A Schrack, Eleanor Marie Simonsick, Paulo H M Chaves, Luigi Ferrucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objectives To determine whether slow gait represents a compensatory strategy to reduce the energetic cost of walking with age. Design Cross-sectional analysis. Setting Community-dwelling volunteers from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA). Participants Four hundred twenty community-dwelling persons aged 32 to 96 (mean 68.1 ± 12.5) who underwent a physical examination, physical function testing, and energy expenditure assessment. Measurements Energy expenditure per minute (mL/kg/min) and per meter (mL/kg/m) during 2.5 minutes of overground walking at customary speed and usual gait speed over 6 m (m/s) were examined. General linear regression models were used to assess the relationship between customary walking energy expenditure and usual gait speed, adjusted for potential confounders including smoking, medical diagnoses, walking-related pain, and balance difficulty. Results Usual gait speed was slower with increasing age after age 65. Energy expenditure per minute during customary walking averaged 13.0 ± 2.8 mL/kg/min and was independent of age (ρ <0.01, P =.88). In contrast, energy expenditure per meter walked was progressively higher after age 65 (ρ = 0.35, P

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1811-1816
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Volume60
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2012

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Energy Metabolism
Walking
Costs and Cost Analysis
Independent Living
Linear Models
Baltimore
Gait
Physical Examination
Longitudinal Studies
Volunteers
Cross-Sectional Studies
Smoking
Walking Speed
Pain

Keywords

  • energy expenditure
  • gait speed
  • physical function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

Cite this

The role of energetic cost in the age-related slowing of gait speed. / Schrack, Jennifer A; Simonsick, Eleanor Marie; Chaves, Paulo H M; Ferrucci, Luigi.

In: Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, Vol. 60, No. 10, 10.2012, p. 1811-1816.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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