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The role of sports clubs in helping older people to stay active and prevent frailty: a longitudinal mediation analysis

The role of sports clubs in helping older people to stay active and prevent frailty: a longitudinal mediation analysis
The role of sports clubs in helping older people to stay active and prevent frailty: a longitudinal mediation analysis
Background Frailty is a common syndrome in older adults characterised by increased vulnerability to adverse health outcomes as a result of decline in functional and physiological measures. Frailty predicts a range of poor health and social outcomes and is associated with increased risk of hospital admission. The health benefits of sport and physical activity and the health risks of inactivity are well known. However, less is known about the role of sports clubs and physical activity in preventing and managing frailty in older adults. The objective of this study is to examine the role of membership of sports clubs in promoting physical activity and reducing levels of frailty in older adults. Methods We used data from waves 1 to 7 of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA). Survey items on physical activity were combined to produce a measure of moderate or vigorous physical activity for each wave. Frailty was measured using an index of accumulated deficits. A total of sixty deficits, including symptoms, disabilities and diseases were recorded through self-report and tests. Direct and indirect relationships between sports club membership, levels of physical activity and frailty were examined using a cross-lagged panel model. Results We found evidence for an indirect relationship between sports club membership and frailty, mediated by physical activity. This finding was observed when examining time-specific indirect pathways and the total of all indirect pathways across seven waves of survey data (Est = −0.097 [95% CI = −0.124,-0.070], p = <0.001). Conclusions These analyses provide evidence to suggest that sports clubs may be useful in preventing and managing frailty in older adults, both directly and indirectly through increased physical activity levels. Sports clubs accessible to older people may improve health in this demographic by increasing activity levels and reducing frailty and associated comorbidities. There is a need for investment in these organisations to provide opportunities for older people to achieve the levels of physical activity necessary to prevent health problems associated with inactivity.
1479-5868
Watts, Paul
a7a3a7b3-4c78-4f67-a12f-1fc97ac9fc3c
Webb, Elizabeth
1a99a7be-5e07-4e0a-9b69-7f5dca27d1f0
Netuveli, Gopalakrishnan
a108fa80-aff3-42cd-aab2-48c89755a43a
Watts, Paul
a7a3a7b3-4c78-4f67-a12f-1fc97ac9fc3c
Webb, Elizabeth
1a99a7be-5e07-4e0a-9b69-7f5dca27d1f0
Netuveli, Gopalakrishnan
a108fa80-aff3-42cd-aab2-48c89755a43a

Watts, Paul, Webb, Elizabeth and Netuveli, Gopalakrishnan (2017) The role of sports clubs in helping older people to stay active and prevent frailty: a longitudinal mediation analysis. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 14 (95). (doi:10.1186/s12966-017-0552-5).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background Frailty is a common syndrome in older adults characterised by increased vulnerability to adverse health outcomes as a result of decline in functional and physiological measures. Frailty predicts a range of poor health and social outcomes and is associated with increased risk of hospital admission. The health benefits of sport and physical activity and the health risks of inactivity are well known. However, less is known about the role of sports clubs and physical activity in preventing and managing frailty in older adults. The objective of this study is to examine the role of membership of sports clubs in promoting physical activity and reducing levels of frailty in older adults. Methods We used data from waves 1 to 7 of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA). Survey items on physical activity were combined to produce a measure of moderate or vigorous physical activity for each wave. Frailty was measured using an index of accumulated deficits. A total of sixty deficits, including symptoms, disabilities and diseases were recorded through self-report and tests. Direct and indirect relationships between sports club membership, levels of physical activity and frailty were examined using a cross-lagged panel model. Results We found evidence for an indirect relationship between sports club membership and frailty, mediated by physical activity. This finding was observed when examining time-specific indirect pathways and the total of all indirect pathways across seven waves of survey data (Est = −0.097 [95% CI = −0.124,-0.070], p = <0.001). Conclusions These analyses provide evidence to suggest that sports clubs may be useful in preventing and managing frailty in older adults, both directly and indirectly through increased physical activity levels. Sports clubs accessible to older people may improve health in this demographic by increasing activity levels and reducing frailty and associated comorbidities. There is a need for investment in these organisations to provide opportunities for older people to achieve the levels of physical activity necessary to prevent health problems associated with inactivity.

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Accepted/In Press date: 7 July 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 14 July 2017
Published date: 14 July 2017

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Local EPrints ID: 414165
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/414165
ISSN: 1479-5868
PURE UUID: c4ceea90-172f-4906-98e9-9b59e6b1d7f9

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Date deposited: 15 Sep 2017 16:30
Last modified: 08 Jan 2022 16:17

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Author: Paul Watts
Author: Elizabeth Webb
Author: Gopalakrishnan Netuveli

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