Ten-Year Longitudinal Evaluation of Physical Fitness in the Elderly
Of a local group of aged individuals who were followed up for 10 years, the results of physical fitness tests were reviewed in 11 men (aged 65–81 years, mean 69.5 years, at the initial examination) and 49 women (aged 65–79 years, mean 69.3 years, at the initial examination), in whom all the data from these 10 years were available, to longitudinally evaluate the physical fitness of the elderly. When the data from the 10 years in these subjects were compared with our previous cross-sectional data, (1) the changes in the muscle strength, muscle power, and equilibrium were nearly in agreement with those shown by the cross-sectional study, and the performance declined markedly after 75–80 years; (2) the changes in agility and flexibility showed different patterns from the cross-sectional results; and (3) comparison of the total fitness scores in these subjects with those of the cross-sectional study indicated that the former belonged to a relatively unfit group at the initial examination, but their fitness level deteriorated insignificantly during the 10 years. Although none of our subjects practiced any sport, they were interested in exercise such as gymnastics and walking and were participating in various social activities including our fitness evaluation program. Such an active lifestyle is considered to contribute to prevention of the age-associated decline of physical fitness.
KeywordsPhysical Fitness Local Group Muscle Power Initial Examination Vertical Jump
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