The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to generate a functional-fitness profile for older women from the south of Brazil and to compare their functional profile with an age-matched cohort of American women. The Fullerton Functional Fitness Test (body-mass index, 6-min-walk test, chair sit-and-reach, chair stand, arm curl, and 8-ft up-and-go) was administered to 1,033 participants. Z scores indicate that older American women performed better in all functional tests than age-matched Brazilians. This fact could be explained by the delayed establishment of specific health policies for older adults in Brazil. In conclusion, the findings provide guidelines about the normal variation of functional fitness in older women from the southern region of Brazil. In addition, these data can be used to help identify older women with functional losses, thereby assisting in the diagnosis of early disability.
Krause, Haile, and Goss are with the Center for Exercise and Health-Fitness Research, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260. Januário is with the Study and Research Group on Nutritional Metabolism Exercise, Northern University of Paraná, Brazil. Hallage, Miculis, and da Silva are with the Center for Research on Exercise and Sport, Federal University of Paraná, Brazil. Gama is with the Dept. of Clinical Medicine, Evangelical University Hospital of Curitiba, Brazil.