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Physical Activity and Nutrition as Modifiable Lifestyle Factors for Healthy Aging in Older Adults

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Title: Physical Activity and Nutrition as Modifiable Lifestyle Factors for Healthy Aging in Older Adults
Author: Logan, Samantha
Department: Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences
Program: Human Health and Nutritional Sciences
Advisor: Lawrence, Spriet
Abstract: Physical activity and nutrition are important modifiable lifestyle factors that are important for healthy aging. This thesis contains three studies in community-dwelling older adults (≥60 years) aimed to: (1) evaluate the use of a physical activity questionnaire to predict physical health; (2) compare dietary intake with physical health parameters in an affluent population, and; (3) improve metabolic and physical health parameters. The first study investigated whether relationships existed between a person's score on the Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly (PASE) questionnaire and health-related body composition, cardiovascular and blood, strength, and flexibility measurements. The only significant relationship was waist circumference (WC), where a minimum PASE score of ~140 predicted a favourable WC for males and ~120 predicted a favourable WC for females. This relationship may be used encourage older adults to become more physically active by increasing their PASE score to move their WC into a favorable range. The second study investigated the relationships between physical health parameters and nutrient intake from food and supplement use in a population with high socioeconomic status (SES), typically recruited for research at the University of Guelph. Results demonstrated that adults with high SES have a similar risk of nutrient inadequacies to Canadian population data, and supplement users do not have higher nutrient intake from food than non-users. Finally, adding vitamin D intake to a predictive model which included age, sex, and body mass index, improved the model’s capacity to predict a participant’s lean body mass. The final study investigated the effect of 12 weeks of omega-3 fish oil (O3FA; FO) and olive oil (placebo, PL) supplementation on metabolic and physical health parameters at rest and during exercise. Results demonstrated that O3FA, and not PL, intake increased metabolic rate and fat oxidation at rest (24% males, 16% females) and exercise (11%). The FO group also experienced a lowering of triglyceride levels, and diastolic blood pressure for the males. Finally, females had an increase in lean mass and functional capacity. Therefore, this thesis demonstrates that modifiable life factors, such as physical activity and diet, influence the healthy aging of older community-dwelling adults.
Date: 2013-12
Rights: Attribution 2.5 Canada
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Attribution 2.5 Canada Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution 2.5 Canada