Physical function in sedentary and exercising older veterans as compared to national norms

J Rehabil Res Dev. 2004 Sep;41(5):653-8. doi: 10.1682/jrrd.2003.09.0141.


We examined the associations between sedentary older veterans, those regularly involved in an outpatient exercise program and physical function. Sedentary and currently exercising older veterans performed a 30 s chair-stand test and 6 min walk test as part of an exercise program. Test results were then compared to national norms. The exercisers' test scores were not significantly different from the national averages. However, their mean 6 min walk score approached being significantly better than the national average (p = 0.095). The sedentary group's scores were significantly lower (p < or = 0.05) than the exercisers' scores and the national averages for both tests. In this cohort, older veterans who maintain a regular program of physical activity function at a level considered average or slightly above average compared to their age-matched peers, while sedentary veterans are significantly below average. Healthcare providers need to stress the importance of regular exercise to their older veteran patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Exercise*
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Male
  • Motor Activity*
  • Veterans*