Combining physical activity and functional tasks in older age

Part of the work carried out in the PROMISS project is based on the HANC study. HANC is an ongoing large-scale European project between 8 Danish and German entities. Currently, 560 older adults (average 82.7 years old) with mobility impairment have a baseline assessment from 12 different domains (e.g. physical activity and sedentariness, sleep, muscle function, environmental characteristics). Assessment involve 7-day measurement by wrist-worn accelerometers, which contributes especially to PROMISS WP2 on reporting physical activity, sedentary behavior in older adults and can be compared with other cohorts in the PROMISS consortium.

Li-Tang Tsai and Paolo Caserotti, from the University of Southern Denmark, have reported preliminary results of accelerometer data from 2 cohorts: data from HANC suggested that older people with a combination of low activity count and low variability of activity throughout the week (meaning their activity level is stable throughout the weak) performed worst in functional tasks (SPPB: walking speed, chair stand, balance test) while those with high activity count and high variability of activity throughout the week performed best in the same tasks.

The team is currently working on a manuscript which will describe and compare accelerometer data from 5 cohorts within PROMISS consortium. This work will be an input to the symposium on “The impact of appetite, low protein, and physical activity on function: the PROMISS study” in the 24th Nordic Congress of Gerontology on 2-4 May in Oslo, reporting on “Associations between accelerometer-assessed physical activity, sedentary behavior, and handgrip strength among older adults across Europe and USA”.