Aim: To explore the purposes of older adults' out-of-home trips, and to investigate the association between the frequency of these trips and older adults' functional fitness. Methods: A total of 412 older adults in Taiwan were recruited from 2009 to 2010. Participants were asked to fill out questionnaires on out-of-home trips, and trained volunteers assessed the functional fitness of respondents using objective measures. Descriptive statistics, univariate analysis, multivariate regression analysis and canonical correlation analysis were then used to analyze the resulting data. Results: Results show that exercise is most frequently the purpose for going out at least once a day, and that parks are the most preferred places to visit. Sex and age are the significant variables explaining variance in older adults' flexibility and physical power, respectively. Canonical correlation analysis showed one significant variate pair (R2c=8.80) between the frequency of out-of-home trips (engaging in exercise and participating in religious activities) and fitness measure test scores including the chair stand, arm curl, 2-min step, and 8-foot up-and-go. The relationship did not exist for the back scratch, nor chair sit-and-reach test scores. Conclusion: The present study provides empirical and objective evidence on older adults' purposes for taking out-of-home trips, and for the positive association between the frequency of these trips, and the muscular strength and cardiovascular endurance, but not flexibility, of older adults. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2014; 14: 596-604.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes