Midlife physical activity preserves lower extremity function in older adults: age gene/environment susceptibility-Reykjavik study

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine; Meyers Primary Care Institute

Publication Date


Document Type



Aged; Aging; Cognition Disorders; Environmental Exposure; Female; Forecasting; *Genetic Predisposition to Disease; *Geriatric Assessment; Humans; Iceland; Lower Extremity; Male; Morbidity; Motor Activity


Geriatrics | Health Services Research | Primary Care


OBJECTIVES: To examine the long-term association between midlife physical activity (PA) and lower extremity function (LEF) in late life.

DESIGN: Longitudinal study with an average of 25 years of follow-up. SETTING: Community-dwelling old population in Reykjavik, Iceland.

PARTICIPANTS: Four thousand seven hundred fifty-three community-dwelling men and women (mean age 76 +/- 6) in Reykjavik, Iceland.

MEASUREMENTS: On the basis of weekly hours of regular PA reported at the midlife examination, participants were classified as active or inactive. Measures of LEF in late life were gait speed on a 6-m walk, Timed Up and Go (TUG), and knee extension (KE) strength tests. Linear regression analysis was used to examine the association.

RESULTS: Participants who were active in midlife had significantly better LEF (faster gait speed, beta = 0.50, P

CONCLUSION: Regular PA in midlife is associated with better performance of LEF in later life, even after controlling for late-life cognitive function. Geriatrics Society.

DOI of Published Version



J Am Geriatr Soc. 2013 Feb;61(2):237-42. doi: 10.1111/jgs.12077. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID