Physical activity in a population of older adults in Greece

Physical activity (PA) in older adults is essential for healthy aging. A minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) and at least twice per week PA for strength, balance and flexibility is recommended for benefits in health and well-being. Given the limited available data, the present study reports on PA levels in Greek older adults, assessed by accelerometers in a sample of adults 60-90 years. This was part of ASPiDA, a multidisciplinary project on physical activity, falls and quality of life in older adults. Participants were invited to participate via KAPI, social services and word of mouth. Actigraph accelerometers were used to assess PA for a week. Participants self-reported participation in structured exercise. Time spent in PA of various intensities (light, MVPA, sedentary behaviours (SB)) was calculated by applying age-specific cut-points to accelerometer data. Descriptive statistics and ANOVA were applied for statistical analysis. A total of 134 retired individuals, mean age 72.0±6.01 had valid accelerometer data, 83.9% women. Participants spent on average 64±33min per day in MVPA, 134±37min in light PA and 640±14min in SB. 91.4% participants met aerobic PA guidelines. 71.6% reported doing no physical exercise and only 14.8% >1hour per week. There was a significant effect of age group (61-70, 71-80, 81-90) on MVPA, but not on light PA and SB. Although MVPA levels decrease by 47% from the youngest to oldest age group, the vast majority of older adults were sufficiently active. Exercise participation in older adults should be promoted as part of public health policies.

Kanavaki A.M., Michalopoulou M., Pavlidou S., Kouli E., Gkrekidis A., Menychtas D., Smilios I., Douda H., Gourgoulis V., Aggelousis N.

26ο Διεθνές Συνέδριο Φυσικής Αγωγής και Αθλητισμού, Ένωση Γυμναστών Βορείου Ελλάδος
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