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  • Author: Linda Cieslik x
  • Psychology and Behavior in Sport/Exercise x
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Ann Swartz, Scott Strath, Sarah Parker, Nora Miller and Linda Cieslik

Background:

The purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which physical activity (PA) is related to obesity in older adults when accounting for race/ethnicity.

Methods:

Cross-sectional data were collected on 214 older adults (72.3 ± 8.9 y; body mass index [BMI] 28.9 ± 6.0; 151 females; 96 non-White). Measures of body height and mass were collected; BMI was calculated. PA was assessed via an electronic pedometer worn for seven consecutive days.

Results:

“White” subjects accumulated 5036 ± 286 steps/d. “Non-White” subjects accumulated significantly fewer steps/d (3671 ± 253 steps/d; z = −3.45, P = 0.001). Race/ethnicity, income, age, gender, and steps/d accounted for 27.4% (P < 0.001) of the variance in BMI, with steps/d accounting for 21.2% (P < 0.001). The most influential factor in this model was PA level (β = −0.510), followed by age (β = −0.220), and finally gender being the least influential, but still a significant factor (β = 0.168).

Conclusion:

Although race/ethnicity and income have been associated with obesity levels, this study shows that older adults who accumulate more ambulatory activity tend to have healthier levels of BMI irrespective of race/ethnicity or income.

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Scott Strath, Ann Swartz, Sarah Parker, Nora Miller and Linda Cieslik

Background:

Little data exists describing the impact that walking has on metabolic syndrome (MetS) in a multicultural sample of older adults.

Methods:

Walking was measured via pedometer in 150 older adults from four different ethnic categories. Steps per day were classified as low (<3,100 steps/d) or high (≥3,100 steps/d) for statistical analyses.

Results:

Occurrence of MetS was lower in the white (33%) versus non-white population (50%). Low steps/d were related to an increase in MetS for both white (OR = 96.8, 95% CI 12.3-764.6) and non-white individuals (OR = 4.5, 95% CI 1.8-11.3). Low steps/d also increased the odds for selected components of MetS in both the white and non-white groups.

Conclusion:

Low levels of walking increase the likelihood of having MetS in both white and non-white older adults. Efforts to increase walking in older adults may decrease the likelihood of developing this clustering of disease risk factors.