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Physical activity and maintaining physical function in older adults
  1. Todd Manini (tmanini{at}aging.ufl.edu)
  1. University of Florida, United States
    1. Marco Pahor (mpahor{at}aging.ufl.edu)
    1. University of Florida, United States

      Abstract

      Introduction: Older Americans, the most rapidly growing age group, are the least physically active1 and generate the highest health care expenditures.2 For example, older persons who were functionally dependent accounted for 46% of the health care expenditures, but only made up 20% of the older adult population3. Additionally, they spent $5,000 more per year than people who remain independent. Physical activity (PA) may play an important role in maintain the health and physical function while reducing the health care burden.4 Recommendations of PA began in 1975 with The American College of Sports Medicine’s (ACSM) guidelines for exercise testing and prescription. While little space was devoted to PA in older adults, likely due to the limited amount of research, today a wealth of literature is available touting its benefits. Throughout the past two decades many obstacles have been overcome with adopting PA a safe and effective modality for improving physical capacity in older adults. Many questions still remain, one in which we attempt to address in this brief review is whether PA can maintain physical function in older adults?

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