Content » Vol 30, Issue 2

Associations of sensory-motor functions with poor mobility in 75- and 80-year-old people

Sakari-Rantala R, Era P, Rantanen T, Heikkinen E.
Department of Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Finland
DOI: 10.1080/165019779830121127


This study investigated the associations of sensory-motor functions with mobility in elderly people. All 75- and 80-year-old residents of the city of Jyväskylä, Finland, were invited to take part in the study. A total of 617 (93%) persons were interviewed, and 500 (75%) took part in laboratory examinations. Self-reported mobility was recorded during the interview. Basic mobility functions (maximal walking speed and stair-mounting ability) and sensory-motor functions (maximal isometric muscle strength, standing balance, reaction time and visual acuity) were measured in the laboratory. Multivariate analyses showed that poor sensory-motor functions were significantly associated with poor performance in basic mobility functions and that poor performance in basic mobility functions was associated with self-reported disability in mobility. The associations discovered were consistent with models of the disablement process. Muscle strength, balance, reaction time and vision all have individual significance for mobility, underlining the need for multifactorial approaches in prevention and rehabilitation.

Lay Abstract


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