Muscle Mass and Muscle Strength Relationships to Balance: The Role of Age and Physical Activity

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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Objective: To investigate the relations of balance to muscle mass (MM) and muscle strength (MS), depending on age and physical activity, which is of particular importance to functional independence in older people. Methods: This cross-sectional study included 802 volunteers (69.82 ± 5.60 years). The Fullerton Advanced Balance scale was used to assess balance and a composite score, including arm curl and chair stand tests for assessing MS. MM was estimated by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and physical activity by questionnaire. Results: Greater MM (r = .26, p < .001) and MS (r = .53, p < .001) were positively correlated to balance. The old-old adults and less active individuals attained lower balance. Notably, moderation and subsequent simple slope analyses revealed that the relations of balance, MM, and MS were larger in less active and the old-old adults. Conclusions: The old-old and less active adults were more prone to muscle weakness and balance impairments. Tailored interventions should particularly consider these vulnerable groups.

É.R. Gouveia and Freitas are with the Department of Physical Education and Sport, University of Madeira, Funchal, Portugal. É.R. Gouveia and B.R. Gouveia are with Interactive Technologies Institute, LARSyS, Funchal, Portugal. É.R. Gouveia, Ihle, B.R. Gouveia, and Kliegel are with the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Gerontology and Vulnerability, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland. Ihle and Kliegel are with the Department of Psychology, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland. B.R. Gouveia is also with Health Administration Institute, Secretary of Health of the Autonomous Region of Madeira, Funchal, Portugal; and with the Saint Joseph of Cluny Higher School of Nursing, Funchal, Portugal. Marques is with Centro Interdisciplinar de Estudo da Performance Humana, Faculdade de Motricidade Humana, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal; and with Centro de Investigação em Saúde Pública, Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal. Freitas is also with the Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Essex, Colchester, United Kingdom.

É.R. Gouveia (erubiog@uma.pt) is corresponding author.
Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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