Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior, and Physical Function in Older Adults With Multiple Sclerosis

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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Older adults with multiple sclerosis (MS) experience the combined effects of aging and a chronic, disabling neurological disease on physical activity, sedentary behavior, and physical function. This study examined associations among light and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (LPA and MVPA), sedentary behavior, and physical function in older adults with MS. Forty older adults with MS (median age = 60 years) who had a median Expanded Disability Status Scale score of 4.5 wore an accelerometer for a 7-day period and completed the Short Physical Performance Battery (SBBP), 6-minute walk (6MW), and timed 25-foot walk (T25FW). LPA was associated with SPPB (rs = .551, p < 0.01), 6MW (rs = .660, p < 0.01), and T25FW (rs = .623, p < 0.01) scores; MVPA was associated with 6MW (rs = .529, p < 0.01) and T25FW (rs = .403, p < 0.01) scores. There were significant associations between LPA, but not MVPA, with SPPB (β = .583, p < 0.01), 6MW (β = .613, p < 0.01), and T25FW (β = .627, p < 0.01) scores in linear regression analyses. Older adults with MS who engaged in more LPA demonstrated better physical function and therefore LPA might be a target of future behavioral interventions.

Cederberg and Motl are with the Dept. of Physical Therapy, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL. McAuley is with the Dept. of Kinesiology and Community Health, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL.

Address author correspondence to Katie L. Cederberg at kcederb@uab.edu.
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