Author(s): Clark DO
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Abstract OBJECTIVES: This study investigated the association between regular physical activity and risk of or increase in lower body disability in older, community dwelling Blacks and Whites. METHODS: The present study used the 1984 to 1990 Longitudinal Study on Aging, which included 413 Black and 3428 White self-respondents 70 years of age or older. Discrete-time hazard models provided estimates of the effects of self-reported walking frequency, and regular exercise on lower, body disability among Black and White self-respondents. RESULTS: Whites who reported walking 4 to 7 days per week at baseline vs those who reported never walking 1 mile (1.6 km) or more experienced a one-third lower risk of increased disability. Blacks who reported walking 4 to 7 days per week experienced a two-thirds lower risk. Walking 4 to 7 days per week reduced the risk of disability onset by 50\% to 80\% on all five disability items within the Black sample and by 50\% on two items within the White sample. CONCLUSIONS: Among older Blacks, walking 4 to 7 days per week had a greater protective effect against lower body decline than any of the other factors, including age and chronic conditions.
This article was published in Am J Public Health
and referenced in Journal of Yoga & Physical Therapy