Muscle strength and functional ability in recreational female golfers and less active non-golfers over the age of 80 Years

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Stockdale, Alison
Webb, Nicholas
Wootton, Jessica
Drennan, Jonathan
Brown, Simon
Stokes, Maria
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Muscle strength and functional ability decline with age. Physical activity can slow the decline but whether recreational golf is associated with slower decline is unknown. This cross-sectional, observational study aimed to examine the feasibility of testing muscle strength and functional ability in older female golfers and non-golfers in community settings. Thirty-one females over aged 80, living independently (golfers n = 21, mean age 83, standard deviation (±) 2.1 years); non-golfers, n = 10 (80.8 ± 1.03 years) were studied. Maximal isometric contractions of handgrip and quadriceps were tested on the dominant side. Functional ability was assessed using the Timed Up and Go (TUG) and health-related quality of life using the Short Form-36 questionnaire. Grip strength, normalised to body mass, was greater in golfers (0.33 ± 0.06 kgF/kg) than non-golfers (0.29 ± 0.06), however, the difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.051). Quadriceps strength did not differ (golfers 2.78 ± 0.74 N/kg; non-golfers 2.69 ± 0.83; p = 0.774). TUG times were significantly faster (p = 0.027) in golfers (10.4 ± 1.9 s) than non-golfers (12.6 ± 3.21 s; within sarcopenic category). Quality of life was significantly higher in golfers for the physical categories (Physical Function p < 0.001; Physical p = 0.033; Bodily pain p = 0.028; Vitality p = 0.047) but psychosocial categories did not differ. These findings indicated that the assessment techniques were feasible in both groups and sensitive enough to detect some differences between groups. The indication that golf was associated with better physical function than non-golfers in females over 80 needs to be examined by prospective randomised controlled trials to determine whether golf can help to achieve the recommended guidelines for strengthening exercise to protect against sarcopenia.
Older females , Physical activity , Golf , Muscle strength , Sarcopenia
Stockdale, A., Webb, N., Wootton, J., Drennan, J., Brown, S. and Stokes, M. (2017) 'Muscle Strength and Functional Ability in Recreational Female Golfers and Less Active Non-Golfers over the Age of 80 Years', Geriatrics, 2(1), 12. doi:10.3390/geriatrics2010012