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Older people’s fitness test, A feasibility study to develop a fitness test for older people that can measure variations in cardiorespiratory fitness.

Cleverley, Martin (2015) Older people’s fitness test, A feasibility study to develop a fitness test for older people that can measure variations in cardiorespiratory fitness. Masters thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

This study builds on the findings from a wider research investigation entitled ‘A complex multimodal activity intervention to reduce the risk of dementia in mild cognitive impairment-ThinkingFit (Dannhauser et al, 2014). The primary aim of this study is to investigate the feasibility of designing a sub-maximal fitness test for older people that can be used without causing undue discomfort to the participant, is appropriate in multi-settings and does not require expensive equipment. The secondary aim is to evaluate the sub-maximal test to identify if it can distinguish change in participants’ cardiorespiratory capacity. The study reviews the influence of exercise on health, and the role healthcare professionals can play in identifying barriers for older people who wish to participate in fitness activities. It examines the current literature of physiological methods of assessing levels of cardiorespiratory fitness. From this body of literature a modified step test was developed, the Older People’s Fitness Test (Op-Ft). The test was then carried out on 53 older adults with a mean age of 73.7 years, over 24 weeks and at three time points, at baseline, at pre-intervention and post-intervention, the intervention being a 12 week walking programme. Attrition, compliance and any adverse effects were recorded. Heart rate variables were tested within this inter-subject, repeated measure design. Data was analysed on six variables using one-way ANOVA and pair wise comparisons. Fifty-three subjects completed the Op-Ft on 159 occasions. Attrition rate and non-completion was zero and no adverse effects were reported. Heart rate variables analysed from the data generated by the Op-Ft were able to demonstrate statistically significant increase in cardiorespiratory fitness after engagement in the 12-week walking programme. The findings from this study suggest the Op-Ft is an appropriate, safe procedure and an achievable test for older people. The Op-Ft has the potential to identify change in cardiorespiratory capacity. In addition the Op-Ft may also have the ability to provide a baseline that could help in establishing the current level of cardiorespiratory fitness, which in turn would help to guide and prescribe fitness activities for older people.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Health and Social Care, School of
Depositing User: Martin Cleverley
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2016 17:17
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2016 17:17
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/16255

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