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Functional aging processes are characterized by a loss of performance capabilities for most physiological systems, such as aerobic endurance and lower body strength, which are important for independent living and active aging. The present study examines the direction of influence between aerobic endurance and lower body strength over time in Italian sedentary older adults. A three-wave longitudinal model was tested using cross-lagged analysis for 202 individuals aged over 65 years (mean = 73.92, SD = 5.84; 140 females). Analysis revealed that aerobic endurance and lower body strength decline over time. In addition, greater aerobic endurance positively affected lower body strength over time; however, the converse was true only during the first period (first 6 months). These findings emphasize the importance of these relationships for the design and implementation of effective physical intervention for older adults.
Magistro is with the Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer (IDAC), Department of Functional Brain Imaging, Tohoku University, Japan; and the Department of Psychology, University of Torino, Italy. Candela, Brustio, and Rabaglietti are with the Department of Psychology, University of Torino, Italy. Liubicich is with the Motor Science Research Center, University School of Motor and Sport Science, University of Torino, Italy.