Comprehensive evaluation of physical activity and physical function for Canadian aging adults: a cross-sectional study

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


University of New Brunswick


Background: Most physical activity (PA) recommendations exclude light and sedentary activities that have the potential to influence physical function for aging adults. Purpose: 1) to test the association between a comprehensive approach to evaluate PA, and physical function, and 2) The second objective of this study was to evaluate how adults age 45-85 years old are report activities over a full week when using a questionnaire . Methods: A total of 25,072 adults (aged 45-85) from the baseline data of the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging were included in this cross-sectional study. PA was self-reported via the Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly (PASE) and was used to make three comprehensive indexes based on MET-min per week: 1) Total Index (All Activities Performed), 2) RT Index (Aerobic/Resistance Exercises), and 3) SED Index (Sedentary/Activity Time). The physical function score was derived from five objective tests related to strength, agility, speed, balance, and power, using factor analysis. Logistic regression models were used, determined on the median by age group and sex, to determine the association between the comprehensive approach to evaluate PA and physical function. Results: After adjusting for confounders, all three indexes were associated with the physical function score. When further adjusting for meeting the current PA guideline, the Total and the SED indexes remained significant [Total Index: OR =1.02, CI = (1.01-1.03), SED: OR = 0.94, CI = (0.92-0.97)]. Less than 1% of the sample was reporting between 24 ± 2 hours per day of any activities. In addition, 58% of the sample was overestimating the average intensity of their activities over 24 hours. Conclusion: First, our results suggest that the combination of activities in the current guidelines and activities beyond the current recommendations should be considered important as they are associated with physical function of aging adults. Second, using the PASE, aging adults generally underestimate the total time spent performing activities but overestimate the intensity of the reported activities.