Research Seminar,“Identifying disability in older adults from patterns of physical activity: Preliminary findings” Dan White, PT PhD

12:00 pm on Wednesday, December 12, 2012
1:00 pm on Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Talbot 519
Please join us on Wednesday, 12/12/12 at 12:00pm, where Dan White, PT PhD will present “Identifying disability in older adults from patterns of physical activity: Preliminary findings.” Intervention for disability follows a tertiary prevention model, i.e. rehabilitation targets older adults who are already disabled and with limitations in function, such as difficulty walking. However, intervention at this stage may be too late. Physical rehabilitation has modest effects and durability with improving function in those with existing limitation. A more ideal approach would be a secondary prevention model, that is identify declines in function earlier and prescribe intervention before the emergence of disability. However, clinicians have limited tools to identify early declines in function and disability. Performance measures of physical function, such as gait speed, have been recommended to assess the risk of future disability. However, decreases in performance or ‘what people can do’ typically happen AFTER decreases in ‘how much people do’, e.g., taking care of local errands like grocery shopping or going to the bank. Examining patterns of physical activity over several days may be a more sound method to understand early declines in function given the strong conceptual link with pre-clinical disability. Specifically, physical activity measured over several days directly measures daily activity behaviors and quantifies the frequency of occurrence of these behaviors. However, it is not clear what patterns of physical activity may be associated with disability. The purpose of this presentation is to provide preliminary data illustrating patterns of physical activity which may be associated with early declines in disability in older adults. Lunch will be provided, so please RSVP to Molly Marino (, if you plan to attend.