International Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 322–339 | Cite as

The relations between musculoskeletal diseases and mobility among old people: are they influenced by socio-economic, psychosocial, and behavioral factors?

  • Kirsten Avlund
  • Merete Osler
  • Mogens Trab Damsgaard
  • Ulla Christensen
  • Marianne Schroll


The aims of this study were (a) to analyse the association between musculoskeletal diseases and mobility cross-sectionally at age 75 and between musculoskeletal diseases and subsequent onset of tiredness and need of help to mobility from age 75 to 80 and (b) to describe whether these associations are influenced by socioeconomic, psychosocial, and behavioral factors. The data are derived from a cross-sectional study of 75-year-old people (n = 480) and a follow-up study among 111 persons without tiredness at baseline and 243 persons without need of help to mobility at baseline. The key predictor variable was musculoskeletal diseases. The outcome was measured by 2 mobility scales. Persons with both musculoskeletal and other diseases were at larger risk of tiredness and need of help cross-sectionally and of onset of need of help compared to others. In addition, physical activity had strong independent influence on mobility both cross-sectionally and longitudinally. Consequently prevention of mobility disability should focus on persons with musculoskeletal diseases and on sedentary persons.

Key words

musculoskeletal diseases mobility physical activity social relations well-being socioeconomic factors 


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Copyright information

© International Society of Behavioral Medicine 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kirsten Avlund
    • 1
    • 2
  • Merete Osler
    • 1
  • Mogens Trab Damsgaard
    • 1
  • Ulla Christensen
    • 1
  • Marianne Schroll
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Social Medicine and Psychosocial HealthInstitute of Public Health, University of CopenhagenBlegdamsvej 3Denmark
  2. 2.Center of Preventive Medicine, Glostrup University HospitalDenmark

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