Author(s): Butler AA, Menant JC, Tiedemann AC, Lord SR
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Abstract BACKGROUND: The objective of this study was to examine age and gender differences in seven tests of functional mobility. METHODS: The study included 50 young participants aged 20 to 39 years, and 684 older participants aged 75 to 98 years. Functional mobility measures included the coordinated stability test, the near tandem balance test, the six metre walk test, the sit to stand test with five repetitions, the alternate step test and the stair ascent and descent tests. RESULTS: Older participants performed significantly worse than the younger participants in all of the functional mobility tests (p < 0.001), with the older women performing worse than the older men in all of the tests (p < 0.05). Significant correlations were found within the older group among all the functional mobility tests scores (r = 0.24-0.87, p < 0.001), and between functional mobility performance and age (r = 0.14-0.35, p < 0.001). People with arthritis and stroke performed worse than people without these conditions in these tests. CONCLUSION: This study provides a normative database for performance of young and older community-dwelling people in a battery of validated and reliable functional mobility tests. The results confirm age-related differences in functional mobility between young and older adults.
This article was published in J Neuroeng Rehabil
and referenced in Journal of Gerontology & Geriatric Research