ERIC Number: EJ844091
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jun
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Walking and the Preservation of Cognitive Function in Older Populations
Prohaska, Thomas R.; Eisenstein, Amy R.; Satariano, William A.; Hunter, Rebecca; Bayles, Constance M.; Kurtovich, Elaine; Kealey, Melissa; Ivey, Susan L.
Gerontologist, v49 nS1 pS86-S93 Jun 2009
Purpose: This cross-sectional study takes a unique look at the association between patterns of walking and cognitive functioning by examining whether older adults with mild cognitive impairment differ in terms of the community settings where they walk and the frequency, intensity, or duration of walking. Design and Methods: The sample was based on interviews with 884 adults aged 65 years and older, residing in 4 locations across the United States: Alameda County, California; Cook County, Illinois; Allegheny County, Pennsylvania; and Durham/Wake Counties, North Carolina. Cognitive function was assessed using a modified Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and the Mental Alternation Test (MAT). Multiple linear regressions were conducted between self-reported walking activities and cognitive measures, controlling for psychosocial, demographic, health status, functional performance, and neighborhood characteristics. Results: The community setting where people walk and the intensity of walking in their neighborhood were significantly associated with cognitive status. After controlling for individual and neighborhood characteristics, better MAT scores were significantly associated with brisk walking and walking fewer times per week. Compared with the MMSE, the MAT was more likely to be associated with patterns of walking among older adults. Older adults with lower MAT scores were more likely to walk in indoor shopping malls and less in parks, whereas those with higher cognitive function scores on the MMSE were less likely to walk in indoor gyms. Implications: This investigation provides insight into the extent to which walking is associated with preservation of cognitive health, setting the stage for future longitudinal studies and community-based interventions.
Descriptors: Physical Activities, Older Adults, Counties, Longitudinal Studies, Physical Activity Level, Life Style, Health Promotion, Aging (Individuals), Correlation, Neurological Organization, Cognitive Ability, Interviews
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California; Illinois; North Carolina; Pennsylvania