Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Exercises Responses of 60-69 Years on the Senior Fitness Test in Jordan Compared to US Norms

Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Exercises Responses of 60-69 Years on the Senior Fitness Test in Jordan Compared to US Norms

Article excerpt


Introduction: It is well established that most body functions are affected by ageing. Regular physical activity reduces the risk of heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and enhance the well-being among elderly. Therefore, this study assessed exercise responses in 60-69 year-olds Jordanian to the Senior Fitness Test in comparison to the US norms.

Methods: Sixty eight men (mean ± SD, 67.1 ± 4.6 y) and 54 women (63.3 ± 3.5 y) from local society volunteered for the study. Each person performed six exercise tests of the senior fitness test; 30-second chair stand test; 30-Second arm curl test; Chair sit and reach test; Back scratch test; 8-Foot up and go exercise test and 6-Minute walk test.

Results: Low values of 8-Foot up and go exercise test, back scratch test and 6-Minute walk test for women compared to the US norms. Good and comparable values of 30-second chair stand test, 30-Second arm curl test and Chair sit and reach test compared to the US norms.

Discussion: The low values of 8-Foot up and go exercise test and back scratch test may be attributed to the fact that these type of exercise are not very common in the daily activity of elderly in Jordan. However, the good results of chair sit and reach exercise test is essential part of their daily physical activity especially during the prayer time, which they have to do five times a day.

Keywords: exercise responses, senior fitness test, Elderly, US norms

1. Introduction

Functional performance within the body is decreased due to aging (Skinner, 2005). Physiological adaptations to the stimuli of training are also affected with aging (Skinner, 2005; Taylor & Johnson, 2008). The prevalence of chronic diseases and disabilities and the cost of health care services are high among those above 65 years old (Berg & Casells, 1990; Jackson et al., 1999; Taylor & Johnson, 2008). At age of 30 people start to gain weight by 0.5 kg each year and this increase is in body fat (Wilmore et al., 2008). Kohrt et al. (1992) reported higher fat mass in trained and sedentary older individuals compared to trained and sedentary young persons and this was evident for both males and females. Bone mass density (BMD) starts to decline after the age of 35 year for both men and women and this reduction in BMD increases after the age of 50 years for men and after the menopause for women (Smith et al., 2009). Osteoporosis leads to fractures and hip and femoral neck are the most serious fractures (Smith et al., 2009). 24% of individuals with hip fracture above 50 years old will die within the first year (Smith et al., 2009).

Muscle mass is reduced with ageing and this can be due to the reduction in the size and number of muscle fibres (Roger & Evans, 1993; Evans, 1995). This reduction in muscle mass will lead to a reduction in strength. In fact, research has shown that individuals lose 1.5% per year of their strength between 50-70% years old and 3% after the age of 70 years old (ACSM,1998). The loss of lean body mass will also lead to a reduction in basal metabolic rate (Evans, 1995). Aerobic capacity is also decreased with age (ACSM, 1998). Heath et al. (1981) has indicated that there is a reduction of 1% per year for healthy sedentary persons and by 0.5 for endurance-trained persons in maximal oxygen uptake. This reduction in aerobic capacity may be attributed to the reduction in maximal heart rate and maximal stroke volume (Heath et al., 1981; Wilmore et al., 2008) and in extraction of oxygen by the exercising muscles (Heath et al., 1981). Physical activity also declines with aging (Elia et al., 2000; Al-Nozha et al., 2007) and low physical fitness level are common among older population (Bouchard et al., 2007).

Physical fitness is the ability to perform your daily tasks with energy and having less chance to develop chronic diseases (Jackson et al., 1999). The senior fitness test was developed to be a suitable physical fitness battery to test older individuals (Rikli & Jones, 2013). …

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