Preserving Mobility in Older Adults with Physical Frailty and Sarcopenia: Opportunities, Challenges, and Recommendations for Physical Activity Interventions

Clin Interv Aging. 2020 Sep 16;15:1675-1690. doi: 10.2147/CIA.S253535. eCollection 2020.

Abstract

One of the most widely conserved hallmarks of aging is a decline in functional capabilities. Mobility loss is particularly burdensome due to its association with negative health outcomes, loss of independence and disability, and the heavy impact on quality of life. Recently, a new condition, physical frailty and sarcopenia, has been proposed to define a critical stage in the disabling cascade. Physical frailty and sarcopenia are characterized by weakness, slowness, and reduced muscle mass, yet with preserved ability to move independently. One of the strategies that have shown some benefits in combatting mobility loss and its consequences for older adults is physical activity. Here, we describe the opportunities and challenges for the development of physical activity interventions in people with physical frailty and sarcopenia. The aim of this article is to review age-related physio(patho)logical changes that impact mobility in old age and to provide recommendations and procedures in accordance with the available literature.

Keywords: balance; better aging; muscle mass; physical exercise; strength; walking.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / prevention & control
  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Frail Elderly / statistics & numerical data*
  • Frailty / physiopathology
  • Frailty / rehabilitation*
  • Humans
  • Postural Balance / physiology
  • Quality of Life
  • Sarcopenia / physiopathology
  • Sarcopenia / rehabilitation*