Fatigue after physical activity in healthy and balance-impaired elderly

  • Egerton T
  • Brauer S
  • Cresswell A
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Abstract

This study aimed to determine whether physical activity similar to daily living results in signs and sensations of fatigue in healthy old, balance-impaired old, and healthy young adults. Sensations of general tiredness, leg tiredness, knee-extension and hip-abduction strength, and temporospatial gait variables were measured before, immediately after, and up to 20 min after moderate-intensity physical activity. After activity, all groups reported increased levels of tiredness but showed no changes in strength. The balance-impaired had greater and more prolonged feelings of tiredness, with a mean increase before to immediately after activity of 3.6 on the visual analogue scale and no recovery at 16 min. The young and healthy old had an increase of 3 and 2.6, respectively, and had recovered before 16 min. In the balance-impaired group only, cadence slowed immediately after activity. It is proposed that these changes, in particular the prolonged feelings of tiredness, might limit daily activity.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Aging
  • Gait
  • Muscle strength

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Authors

  • Thorlene Egerton

  • Sandra G. Brauer

  • Andrew G. Cresswell

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