Use of walking modifications, perceived walking difficulty and changes in outdoor mobility among community-dwelling older people during COVID-19 restrictions
Leppä, H., Karavirta, L., Rantalainen, T., Rantakokko, M., Siltanen, S., Portegijs, E., & Rantanen, T. (2021). Use of walking modifications, perceived walking difficulty and changes in outdoor mobility among community-dwelling older people during COVID-19 restrictions. Aging Clinical and Experimental Research, 33(10), 2909-2916. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40520-021-01956-2
Published inAging Clinical and Experimental Research
© The Author(s) 2021
Background Outdoor mobility enables participation in essential out-of-home activities in old age. Aim To compare changes in different aspects of outdoor mobility during COVID-19 restrictions versus two years before according to self-reported walking. Methods Community-dwelling participants of AGNES study (2017–2018, initial age 75–85) responded to AGNES-COVID-19 postal survey in spring 2020 (N = 809). Life-space mobility, autonomy in participation outdoors, and self-reported physical activity were assessed at both time points and differences according to self-reported walking modifications and difficulty vs. intact walking at baseline were analyzed. Results Life-space mobility and autonomy in participation outdoors had declined (mean changes -11.4, SD 21.3; and 6.7, SD 5.3, respectively), whereas physical activity had increased (5.5 min/day, SD 25.1) at follow-up. Participants perceiving walking difficulty reported the poorest baseline outdoor mobility, a steeper decline in life-space mobility (p = 0.001), a smaller increase in physical activity (p < 0.001), and a smaller decline in autonomy in participation outdoors (p = 0.017) than those with intact walking. Those with walking modifications also reported lower baseline life-space mobility and physical activity, a steeper decline in life-space mobility and a smaller increase in physical activity those with intact walking (p < 0.001 for both). Discussion Participants reporting walking modifications remained the intermediate group in outdoor mobility over time, whereas those with walking difficulty showed the steepest decline in outdoor mobility and hence potential risk for accelerated further functional decline. Conclusion Interventions should target older people perceiving walking difficulty, as they may be at the risk for becoming homebound when environmental facilitators for outdoor mobility are removed. ...
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media LLC
Publication in research information system
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- Liikuntatieteiden tiedekunta 
Related funder(s)Academy of Finland; European Commission
Funding program(s)Research post as Academy Research Fellow, AoF; Research costs of Academy Research Fellow, AoF; Academy Project, AoF
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 fundingOpen access funding provided by University of Jyväskylä (JYU). This work was supported by the European Research Council (grant number 693045 to Ta.R), the Academy of Finland (grant numbers 310526 to Ta.R, 330,185 to MR, and 321,336 and 328,818 to Ti.R), the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture (to MR, Ta.R and EP), and the University of Jyväskylä. The financial sponsors were not involved in the design, implementation, analyses or reporting of the results. In addition, the content of this manuscript does not reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Responsibility for the information and views expressed in the manuscript lies entirely with the authors. ...
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