Background: Recent randomized controlled trials indicated that exercise training for elderly significantly increased their physical fitness. However, very few studies have examined changes in physical activity after exercise training. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether six-month exercise training for older adults can increase and maintain their physical activity in daily life. Methods: Sixty-two men and women aged 60 to 81 years (mean age 67.1 years), living in communities, were randomly allocated into an exercise group (n=32) or a control group (n=33). The intervention started in April 1998 and lasted for 25 weeks. The exercise regimen consisted of endurance training and resistance exercises in a two-hour class conducted at least twice a week. The subjects completed a physical activity diary at each pre-intervention (March 1998), post-intervention (September 1998) and follow-up (April 1999) measurement of physical activity. Physical activity, expressed as total daily energy expenditure, was calculated by multiplying the amount of time spent in each activity and the corresponding METs. Results: Total daily energy expenditure significantly increased from 40.8 kcal/kg/day to 43.5 kcal/kg/day in the exercise group (p=0.03), but did not change in the control group. At the follow-up measurement, the mean total daily energy expenditure in the exercise group remained significantly higher, by 1.7 kcal/kg/day, than that at the pre-intervention (p=0.05). Conclusions: This randomized controlled trial indicated that exercise training for elderly was effective in increasing physical activity in daily life.
- Older adults
- Total daily energy expenditure
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