The maintenance of muscle function into late life protects against various negative health outcomes. The present study was undertaken to evaluate the impact of habitual physical activity and exercise types on physical performance across ages in community-living adults. The Longevity check-up 7+ (Lookup 7+) project is an ongoing cross-sectional survey conducted in unconventional settings (e.g., exhibitions, malls, and health promotion campaigns across Italy) that began on June 1st 2015. The project was designed to raise awareness in the general population on major lifestyle behaviors and risk factors for chronic diseases. Candidate participants are eligible for enrolment if they are at least 18 years of age and provide written informed consent. Physical performance is evaluated through the 5-repetition chair stand test. Analyses were conducted in 6,242 community-living adults enrolled between June 1st 2015 and June 30th 2017, after excluding 81 participants for missing values of the variables of interest. The mean age of the 6,242 participants was 54.4 years (standard deviation 15.2, range 18±98 years), and 3552 (57%) were women. The time to complete the chair stand test was similar from 18 to 40±44 years, and declined progressively across subsequent age groups. Overall, the performance on the chair stand test was better in physically active participants, who completed the test with a mean of 0.5 s less than sedentary enrollees (p <.001). After adjusting for potential confounders, a different distribution of physical performance across exercise intensities was observed, with better performance being recorded in participants engaged in more vigorous activities. Our findings suggest that regular physical activity modifies the age-related pattern of decline in physical performance, with greater benefits observed for more intensive activities. Efforts are needed from health authorities and healthcare providers to promote the large-scale adoption of an active lifestyle throughout the life course.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)