The purposes of the present study were to determine whether exercise is associated with functional disability in a dose-dependent manner and to identify a threshold for exercise benefit. The original data were collected using a national telephone survey technique. The current investigation was restricted to persons in the sample at baseline who were aged 60 or older. Functional disability, the primary dependent variable, was the summation of subject responses to five questions pertaining to functional limitation. Exercise was the independent variable in each of the three categories: strenuous exercise, moderate exercise, and walking. Age was used as a covariate in all statistical models. Descriptive data revealed a favorable linear relationship between exercise and functional disability. Tests of statistical significance partially supported a dose-dependent relationship between exercise and functional protection. Some exercise was better than none at all and high frequency exercise was better than some exercise with respect to functional impairment. However, a lower threshold for exercise effectiveness with respect to functional disability was not discovered.
Author Kenneth Mobily
Volume Vol 47, No 1 (2013)