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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1678-4464Print version ISSN 0102-311X


COSTA, Taiguara Bertelli  and  NERI, Anita Liberalesso. Indicators of physical activity and frailty in the elderly: data from the FIBRA study in Campinas, São Paulo State, Brazil. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2011, vol.27, n.8, pp.1537-1550. ISSN 1678-4464.

The literature shows methodological differences in measuring physical activity in relation to frailty in the elderly. Therefore, the aim of the present study, part of FIBRA (the Frailty in Brazilian Elderly study), was to investigate relationships between frailty and measurements of physical activity. The study used a probabilistic sample of 689 elderly (72.28 ± 5.40 years; 68.21% women). An adapted version of the Minnesota Leisure Time Physical Activity Questionnaire was used and two criteria were established for measuring physical activity: regular physical exercise and weekly calorie expenditure during physical exercise and household activities. Of the total sample, 15.09% scored on weight loss, 17.13% on fatigue, 16.96% on low grip strength, 15.87% on slow gait, and 43.02% on comorbidities. According to the calorie expenditure criterion, 83.55% of the elders were classified as active, as compared to 45.27% according to the physical activity criterion. Low calorie expenditure was associated with low grip strength, slow gait, and advanced age. Sedentary lifestyle (limited physical activity) was associated with comorbidities. Calorie expenditure was more sensitive for measuring frailty, while physical activity was more sensitive for measuring health status.

Keywords : Aged; Frail Elderly; Chronic Disease; Motor Activity; Exercise.

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