Effects of Physical Activity on Functional Health of Older Adults: A Systematic Review
Reviews on the relationships between functional health and physical activity of general older adults have been well documented in literature. However, specific age range of older adults, in particular, older adults of 75 years or above, is currently under-examined. A systematic review was conducted to investigate the effects of physical activity on functional health older adults aged 75 years or above. The reviewed articles cover a variety range of functional health outcomes, including balance, muscle conditioning, joint range of motion, quadriceps strength, reaction time, gait speed, health-related quality of life, back and knee pain, muscle mass, and walking ability. In general, interventions of the reviewed articles had favorable effects on function health of older adults. While physical activity has been identified as an important determinant of functional health, the ways to engage in and accumulate sufficient daily physical activity warrant investigation. It is also important to explore interventions which enhance daily, self-driven physical activity of elderly, as normally supervised physical activity bears higher costs.