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Gender differences in physical activity patterns among older adults who fall☆
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    This study describes gender differences in the level and pattern of physical activity in groups of older adults who were frequent fallers, intermittent fallers, or non-fallers.


    Interviews were conducted with adults aged 50 years and older (N = 1834) at senior centers across Pennsylvania from 2010 to 2011. Self-reported falls and validated measures of physical activity were collected at baseline and at 6- and 12-month follow-up assessments.


    Complete follow-up data were available for 1487 participants. Men who fell frequently decreased in recreational/leisure activity and household/yard work compared to the intermittent fallers and non-fallers. This association remained even when controlling for baseline health status. All women—regardless of fall group—engaged in similar levels of recreational/leisure activity and household/yard work over time. For both men and women, frequent fallers also showed a greater decrease in walking activities compared to intermittent fallers and non-fallers.


    Frequent falling among older adults is associated with declines in common leisure, household, and walking activities. The effect of falling frequency on physical activity appears to affect men and women differently, generating the hypothesis that interventions to promote physical activity among fallers need to be gender specific.

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  • Funding:
    AG026010/AG/NIA NIH HHS/United States
    AG032370/AG/NIA NIH HHS/United States
    MHO19986/PHS HHS/United States
    NR009573/NR/NINR NIH HHS/United States
    NR013450/NR/NINR NIH HHS/United States
    P30 AG024827/AG/NIA NIH HHS/United States
    P30 MH090333-01A1/MH/NIMH NIH HHS/United States
    U48 DP001918/DP/NCCDPHP CDC HHS/United States
    U48 DP002657/DP/NCCDPHP CDC HHS/United States
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