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Original Research The Impact of Physical Activity and Physical Fitness on Health Indicators Among Older Adults

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The cross-sectional relationship between physical activity, physical fitness, and measures of resting hemodynamic function and adiposity was examined in 11 women and 14 men, all of whom were in good health (M age = 69.3 yrs). Resting diastolic blood pressure (DBP) differed significantly by quartiles of both weekly energy expenditure and estimated V02max. Subjects whose energy expenditure was above the 50th percentile had significantly lower DBP than less active subjects, independent of age, gender, and VO2max, whereas those above the 75th percentile of VO2max had lower DBP and mean arterial pressure compared to less fit subjects, .independent of age, gender, and weekly energy expenditure. There were no significant differences in the body mass index or percent body fat by quartile of weekly energy expenditure or estimated VO2max in the multivariable analysis. Mean waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) differed by level of weekly energy expenditure, independent of age, gender, and VO2max; individuals who reported a threshold of energy expenditure ³6,099 kcal/wk had less relative abdominal fat than those reporting less activity. There were no significant independent differences in mean WHR or the central-to-peripheral skinfold ratio between quartiles of VO2max.

Authors: Linda S. Pescatello, Loretta DiPietro, Ann E. Fargo, Adrian M. Ostfeld, Ethan R. Nadel

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