Accelerometer assessed moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and successful ageing

Results from the Whitehall II study

Physical activity is key for successful ageing, but questions remain regarding the optimal physical activity pattern. We examined the cross-sectional association between physical activity and successful ageing using data on 3,749 participants (age range = 60–83years) of the Whitehall II study. The participants underwent a clinical assessment, completed a 20-item physical activity questionnaire, and wore a wrist-mounted accelerometer for 9 days. Successful ageing was defined as good cognitive, motor, and respiratory functioning, along with absence of disability, mental health problems, and major chronic diseases. Time spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) episodes assessed by accelerometer was classified as “short” (1–9.59 minutes) and “long” (≥10 minutes) bouts. Linear multivariate regression showed that successful agers (N = 789) reported 3.79 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.39–6.19) minutes more daily MVPA than other participants. Accelerometer data showed this difference to be 3.40 (95% CI:2.44–4.35) minutes for MVPA undertaken in short bouts, 4.16 (95% CI:3.11–5.20) minutes for long bouts, and 7.55 (95% CI:5.86–9.24) minutes for all MVPA bouts lasting 1 minute or more. Multivariate logistic regressions showed that participants undertaking ≥150 minutes of MVPA per week were more likely to be successful agers with both self-reported (Odd Ratio (OR) = 1.29,95% (CI):1.09–1.53) and accelerometer data (length bout ≥1 minute:OR = 1.92, 95%CI:1.60–2.30). Successful agers practice more MVPA, having both more short and long bouts, than non-successful agers.

Menai, M., van Hees, V. T., Elbaz, A., Kivimaki, M., Singh-Manoux, A., & Sabia, S. (2017). Accelerometer assessed moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and successful ageing: results from the Whitehall II study. Scientific Reports, 8, 45772.

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