Progression of functional limitations in relation to physical activity: a life course approach
von Bonsdorff, M., & Rantanen, T. (2011). Progression of functional limitations in relation to physical activity: a life course approach. European Review of Aging and Physical Activity, 8 (1), 23-30. doi:10.1007/s11556-010-0070-9
Published inEuropean Review of Aging and Physical Activity
DisciplineGerontologia ja kansanterveys
© European Group for Research into Elderly and Physical Activity (EGREPA) 2010. This is an author's final draft version of an article whose final and definitive version has been published in the journal European Review of Aging and Physical Activity by Springer.
In this minireview, we summarize the research results to date on the progression of functional limitations and the role of physical activity during the life course in preventing risk factor accumulation. In addition, socioeconomic and health disparities play a role in the development process of functional limitation throughout life. We discuss the potential role of physical activity in alleviating this process. Functional limitations usually develop gradually over an extended period of time while the level of physical functioning varies greatly already from midlife onwards. Current research strongly suggests that physical activity has a beneficial effect on functional limitations at different life stages on the population level. However, the potential impact of physical activity in alleviating the effects caused by socioeconomic disparities is inconsistent. Research findings are also conflicting on the extent of the effect of physical activity among certain subsets of the population, such as obese persons. Although the benefits of physical activity on physical impairments and functioning among the adult population have been confirmed, the number of adults who are physically active is too low and, for the majority, physical activity declines with older age. Thus, detailed research evidence is needed for designing effective preventive interventions starting from earlier ages and continuing throughout the lifespan across different subgroups in the population. ...
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