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Physical Activity And Fitness In White- And Blue-Collar Retired Men

Anna Pieczyńska, Ewa Zasadzka, Tomasz Trzmiel, Mariola Pawlaczyk

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The average life expectancy has increased and despite a distinct feminization of aging, the number of older males continues to grow. Physical activity has a positive effect on health and helps to slow down the negative consequences of aging. The aim of the study was to evaluate possible relationships between physical fitness, physical activity and type of work during occupational activity among retired men (aged ≥65 years), no longer professionally active. The study included 104 men (aged from 65 to 90 years), further stratified into blue- and white-collar groups (66 and 38 subjects, respectively). The International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) was used to assess their physical activity levels. Physical performance was assessed using the Short Physical Performance Battery test (SPPB) and handgrip strength (HGS) measurement. Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) was used to identify the risk for depression. Mean physical activity in the study population was moderate in almost 70%, high in 19% and low in 11% of the subjects. Men with high physical activity levels had better SPPB and GDS scores ( p = .01 and p = .001, respectively). In the blue-collar group, the IPAQ scores were lower than in the white-collar group, although the differences were statistically insignificant. The SPPB scores and mean HGS for the dominant hand were similar in both groups. Occupational physical activity should not substitute other forms of physical activity. Regardless of the type of work performed before retirement, the men obtained similar results in terms of their physical activity.