Activity engagement and physical function in old age sample

Krupa N. Shah, Feng V. Lin, Fang Yu, James M. McMahon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Objectives To describe the patterns of engagement in mental, physical, and social activity (MA, PA, and SA) and to examine the relationship between combined activity engagement and physical function among community-dwelling older adults. Design Cross-sectional correlational study. Setting Multiple communities. Participants A total of 466 individuals aged 55 years or older. Measurements Physical function was assessed using grip strength and gait speed. Engagement in PA, MA and SA was obtained from self-report questionnaires. Results We identified four classes (“Active PA and MA”, “Active MA”, “Active PA”, and “Inactive”) that significantly differed in the frequency of engagement in MA and PA using latent class analysis. SA didn't differ across classes. Controlling for age, the “Active PA and MA”, “Active MA”, “Active PA” groups displayed similar grip strength that was superior to the “Inactive” group. “Active PA and MA” group had best gait speed relative to other groups, especially “Active MA” and “Inactive” group, while the “Active PA”, “Active MA”, and “Inactive” group were similar in gait speed. Conclusion Combined physical and mental activity engagement was associated with better physical function, especially in gait speed. Future interventional research should investigate the combination of both physical and cognitive training to prevent decline of physical function in older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-60
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of gerontology and geriatrics
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Mental and social activity
  • Physical
  • Physical function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Aging
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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