Physical Activity in Older Adults in Relation to Place of Residence and Coexistent Chronic Diseases

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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The goal of this study was to assess the physical activity (PA) and its determinants of older people living in the 3 different environments.


Three equal (n = 693 each) groups of individuals aged ≥65 years living in urban, rural and institutional environments took part in this study. PA was measured by the Seven Day Recall PA Questionnaire (energy expenditure—PA-EE) and the Stanford Usual Activity Questionnaire (health-related behaviors—PA-HRB).


PA-EE was highest in the rural environment and lowest in nursing homes. PA-HRB were most common in urban area. Older age, lower education level, several concomitant diseases and the number of systematically used medications were consistently related to lower PA-EE and PA-HRB. Smoking habit, presence of hypertension, musculoskeletal and gastrointestinal disorders had different association to PA-EE and PA-HRB in the 3 environments.


Subpopulations of older people differ from the general population with regard to their level of PA and its association with sociodemographic data and concomitant diseases. Concomitant serious diseases significantly decrease the level of PA of older subjects. The relationship between PA and nondebilitating disorders may vary depending on the living environment or PA assessment methodology.

The authors are with the Dept of Geriatrics; J Kostka is also with the Dept of Physical Medicine; Borowiak is also with the Institute of Nursing; Medical University of Lodz, Poland.

J Kostka ( is corresponding author.