Fatigability as a function of physical activity energy expenditure in older adults.

Buchowski MS, Simmons SF, Whitaker LE, Powers J, Beuscher L, Choi L, Ikizler TA, Chen K, Shnelle JF
Age (Dordr). 2013 35 (1): 179-87

PMID: 22113348 · PMCID: PMC3543733 · DOI:10.1007/s11357-011-9338-x

Increased fatigue is a predictor of morbidity and mortality in older adults. Fatigability defines a change in performance or self-reported fatigue in response to physical activity (PA). However, the relationship of fatigability to PA-related energy expenditure (PAEE) is unknown. Changes in performance, fatigue, and energy expenditure were measured simultaneously in 17 adults (11 females, 74-94 years old) performing eight standardized PA tasks with various energy expenditure requirements in a whole-room indirect calorimeter. Change in performance was objectively measured using a PA movement monitor and change in fatigue was self-reported on a seven-point scale for each task. Performance and perceived fatigability severity scores were calculated as a ratio of change in performance and fatigue, respectively, and PAEE. We found that change in both objective performance and self-reported fatigue were associated with energy expenditure (Spearman rho = -0.72 and -0.68, respectively, p < 0.001) on a task requiring relatively high level of energy expenditure. The performance and perceived fatigability severity scores were significantly correlated (rho = 0.77, p < 0.001) on this task. In summary, results of this proof of concept pilot study show that both perceived and performance fatigability severity scores are related to PAEE-induced fatigue on a task requiring relatively high level of energy expenditure. We conclude that fatigability severity is a valid measure of PAEE-induced fatigue in older adults.

MeSH Terms (13)

Aged Aged, 80 and over Aging Calorimetry, Indirect Energy Metabolism Exercise Fatigue Female Follow-Up Studies Humans Male Motor Activity Pilot Projects

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