Outdoor Mobility and Use of Adaptive or Maladaptive Walking Modifications among Older People
Skantz, H., Rantanen, T., Palmberg, L., Rantalainen, T., Aartolahti, E., Portegijs, E., Viljanen, A., Eronen, J., & Rantakokko, M. (2020). Outdoor Mobility and Use of Adaptive or Maladaptive Walking Modifications among Older People. Journals of Gerontology Series A : Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 75(4), 806–812. https://doi.org/10.1093/gerona/glz172
© The Author(s) 2019
Background. In old age, decline in functioning may cause changes in walking ability. Our aim was to study whether older people who report adaptive, maladaptive or no walking modifications differ in outdoor mobility. Methods. Community-dwelling people aged 75–90 years (N=848) were interviewed at baseline, of whom 761 participated in the 2-year follow-up. Walking modifications were assessed by asking the participants whether they had modified their way of walking 2 kilometers due to their health. Based on the responses, three categories were formed: no walking modifications (reference), adaptive (e.g., walking more slowly, using an aid) and maladaptive walking modifications (reduced frequency of walking, or having given up walking 2 km). Differences between these categories in life-space mobility, autonomy in participation outdoors and unmet physical activity need were analyzed using Generalized Estimation Equations (GEE) models. Results. Participants with maladaptive walking modifications (n=238) reported the most restricted life-space mobility (β -9.6, SE 2.5, p<0.001) and autonomy in participation outdoors (β 1.7, SE 0.6, p=0.004) and the highest prevalence of unmet physical activity need (OR 4.3, 95% CI 1.1–16.5) at baseline and showed a decline in these variables over time. Those with no walking modifications (n=285) at baseline exhibited the best values in all outdoor mobility variables and no change over time. Although at baseline those with adaptive walking modifications (n=325) resembled those with no modifications, their outdoor mobility declined over time. Conclusion. Adopting adaptive modifications may postpone decline in outdoor mobility whereas the use of maladaptive modifications has unfavorable consequences for outdoor mobility. ...
PublisherOxford University Press
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- Liikuntatieteiden tiedekunta 
Related funder(s)European Commission
The content of the publication reflects only the author’s view. The funder is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.
Additional information about fundingThis work was supported by the European Research Council (grant number 693045 to Ta.R.); the Academy of Finland (grant number 255403 to Ta.R.); the Ministry of Education and Culture (to M.R. and Ta.R.); and the University of Jyväskylä. The financial sponsors were not involved in the design, implementation, analyses, or reporting of the results.
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