Exploring the relationship between physical activity and physical capacity of community-dwelling older adults while implementing a physical activity goal-setting intervention.

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University of New Brunswick


The primary purpose of the present study was to identify the optimum variables to express the interrelationship between physical capacity (PC) and physical activity (PA) of community-dwelling older adults (65+), during activities of daily living, as measured by wireless health sensors. Second, it aimed to determine if PC was a predictor of change in a goal-setting intervention. Seventy-six (N = 76) older men and women (M age= 74.05 ± 5.15 years) had their PC measured in the laboratory using the MoveTest and then had their daily PA measured at home for one week, using the MoveMonitor. Twenty-three (n = 23) of these participants (M age = 73.13 ± 5.41 years) then set goals for step count, active time, and sitting time, and completed two weeks of monitoring/feedback. Correlation matrices and clustering identified ten variables to represent PC and PA. Canonical correlation analysis indicated a non-significant relationship between PC and PA. Repeated-measures ANOVAs found significant improvements in step count (p = .002), active time (p < .001), movement intensity of active time (p < .001), and walking duration (≥ 20 sec bouts, p < .001). Linear-regression found PC variables were not significant predictors of change within the intervention. Although no relationship between PC and PA was found, the results of this study identified important PC and PA variables that may be used to represent older adults’ mobility.