To investigate the influence of the differences in exercise fulfillment on mental and physical functions and the effects of exercise intervention on community-dwelling older adults.
Participants in this study included 260 community-dwelling older adults (mean age +/- SD, 70.4 +/- 6.0 years) who participated in the exercise intervention study (intervention and control groups). Exercise fulfillment levels (low or high), physical activity levels (low or high), mental health (WHO-5 scores), health-related QOL (SF-8 score), and physical abilities of these adults were measured during a baseline health checkup. Based on the status of the 3 exercise fulfillment groups, multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA), which was adjusted for age, sex, and physical activity levels, was performed to compare the results of the outcome measures among the 3 groups. The intervention group (n = 88, aged 70.3 +/- 6.2 years) was divided into 2 subgroups: the deterioration subgroup (participants with low-exercise fulfillment after the intervention) and the improvement subgroup (participants with high-exercise fulfillment after the intervention). Subsequently, the intervention effects were assessed by repeated measurements of the analysis of variance (ANOVA) between the 2 subgroups.
MANOVA analysis revealed that body mass index, grip strength, maximum walking speed, the WHO-5 score, and the SF-8 subscale (8 items) score differed significantly amongst the groups. The high-exercise fulfillment group demonstrated better results for these variables than the low-exercise fulfillment group. Similar results were obtained for each group with respect to the physical activity levels. The repeated-measures ANOVA revealed that time had an important effect on lower physical functions and the SF-8 subscale (1 item) score; it also revealed the important effects of body mass index, the WHO-5 score, the SF-8 subscale (6 items) score, and psychological independence on the group.
Older adults with higher exercise fulfillment demonstrated better mental and psychological health, regardless of their physical activity levels. Older adults with low-exercise fulfillment could potentially improve their physical abilities; however, their mental and psychological health significantly differed from that of older adults with medium- or high-exercisefulfillment after exercise intervention. These findings provide preliminary evidence, which indicates that exercise can provide sufficient fulfillment and contribute to the promotion and improvement of health in older adults. Moreover, performing adequate tests on exercise fulfillment may aid in assessing the effects of intervention programs in regional healthcare systems.