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  • Author: Duarte L. Freitas x
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Élvio R. Gouveia, Bruna R. Gouveia, José A. Maia, Cameron. J. Blimkie and Duarte L. Freitas

The aims of this study were to describe age- and sex-related differences in total body skeletal muscle (TB-SM) mass and to determine the variance explained by physical activity (PA). This cross-sectional study included 401 males and 402 females, aged 60–79 years. TB-SM was determined by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and PA by Baecke questionnaire. Statistical analysis included t test, ANOVAs, Pearson correlations, and multiple regression analysis. TB-SM mass was higher in the youngest age group when compared with the oldest in males and females. Males had greater TB-SM values than females. PA made a significant and positive contribution to the variation in TB-SM, β = 0.071; p = .016. Sex, height, fat mass, and PA explained 77% of the variance in TB-SM. The oldest cohorts and females had lower TB-SM than the younger cohorts and males. This study suggests that PA exerts a significant role in the explanation of TB-SM.

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Élvio R. Gouveia, Andreas Ihle, Bruna R. Gouveia, Matthias Kliegel, Adilson Marques and Duarte L. Freitas

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.

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Élvio R. Gouveia, José A. Maia, Gaston P. Beunen, Cameron J. Blimkie, Ercília M. Fena and Duarte L. Freitas

The purposes of this study were to generate functional-fitness norms for Portuguese older adults, to determine age and sex differences, and to analyze the physical activity–associated variation in functional fitness. The sample was composed of 802 older adults, 401 men and 401 women, age 60–79 yr. Functional fitness was assessed using the Senior Fitness Test. Physical activity level was estimated via the Baecke questionnaire. The P50 values decreased from 60 to 64 to 75 to 79 yr of age. A significant main effect for age group was found in all functional-fitness tests. Men scored significantly better than women in the chair stand, 8-ft up-and-go, and 6-min walk. Women scored significantly better than men in chair sit-and-reach and back scratch. Active participants scored better in functional-fitness tests than their average and nonactive peers. This study showed a decline in functional fitness with age, better performance of men, and increased proficiency in active participants.