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  • Author: Eeva Aartolahti x
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Eeva Aartolahti, Sirpa Hartikainen, Eija Lönnroos and Arja Häkkinen

This study was conducted to determine the characteristics of health and physical function that are associated with not starting strength and balance training (SBT). The study population consisted of 339 community-dwelling individuals (75–98 years, 72% female). As part of a population-based intervention study they received comprehensive geriatric assessment, physical activity counseling, and had the opportunity to take part in SBT at the gym once a week. Compared with the SBT-adopters, the nonadopters (n = 157, 46%) were older and less physically active, had more comorbidities and lower cognitive abilities, more often had sedative load of drugs or were at the risk of malnutrition, had lower grip strength and more instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) difficulties, and displayed weaker performance in Berg Balance Scale and Timed Up and Go assessments. In multivariate models, higher age, impaired cognition, and lower grip strength were independently associated with nonadoption. In the future, more individually-tailored interventions are needed to overcome the factors that prevent exercise initiation.

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Lotta Palmberg, Erja Portegijs, Taina Rantanen, Eeva Aartolahti, Anne Viljanen, Mirja Hirvensalo and Merja Rantakokko

Background: Many older people report a willingness to increase outdoor physical activity (PA), but no opportunities for it, a situation termed as unmet PA need. The authors studied whether lower neighborhood mobility and PA precede the development of unmet PA need. Methods: Community-dwelling 75- to 90-year-old people (n = 700) were interviewed annually for 2 years. Unmet PA need, neighborhood mobility, and PA were self-reported. In addition, accelerometer-based step counts were assessed among a subgroup (n = 156). Results: Logistic regression analyses revealed that lower baseline neighborhood mobility (odds ratio 3.02, 95% confidence interval [1.86, 4.90] vs. daily) and PA (odds ratio 4.37, 95% confidence interval [2.62, 7.29] vs. high) were associated with the development of unmet PA need over 2 years. The participants with higher step counts had a lower risk for unmet PA need (odds ratio 0.68, 95% confidence interval, [0.54, 0.87]). Conclusion: Maintaining higher PA levels and finding solutions for daily outdoor mobility, especially for those with declines in health, may protect from the development of unmet PA need.