Movement velocity in the chair squat is associated with measures of functional capacity and cognition in elderly people at low risk of fall

PeerJ. 2018 Apr 30;6:e4712. doi: 10.7717/peerj.4712. eCollection 2018.


Background: The purpose of this study was to analyze the relationships between muscular performance consisting of a single repetition on the chair squat exercise (CSQ) and different measures of functional capacity, balance, quality of life and cognitive status in older adults.

Methods: A total of 40 participants (22 women, 18 men; age = 72.2 ± 4.9 years) joined the investigation. Muscular performance was assessed by measuring movement velocity in the CSQ with no external load using a validated smartphone application (PowerLift for iOS). Functional capacity, balance, quality of life and cognitive status were evaluated using the hand-grip strength (HGS) test, the Berg-scale, the EuroQol 5D (EQ-5D) and the Mini mental state examination questionnaire (MMSE). Finally, participants were divided into two subgroups (N = 20) according to their velocity in the CSQ exercise.

Results: Positive correlations were obtained between movement velocity in the CSQ and HGS (r = 0.76, p < 0.001), the Berg-scale (r = 0.65, p < 0.001), the EQ-5D (r = 0.34, p = 0.03) and the MMSE (r = 0.36, p = 0.02). Participants in the fastest subgroup showed very likely higher scores in the Berg-scale (ES = 1.15) and the HGS (ES = 1.79), as well as likely higher scores in the MMSE scale (ES = 0.69).

Discussion: These results could have potential clinical relevance as they support the use of a time-efficient, non-fatiguing test of muscular performance (i.e., the CSQ) to evaluate functional capacity and mental cognition in older adults.

Keywords: Falling; Geriatrics; Health; Muscles; Technology.

Grant support

The authors received no funding for this work.