Effect of Low Intensity Exercise on Perception of Exertion for Leisure and Daily Living Activities in Healthy Elderly Men and Women pp. 223-234
Authors: Ann Marie Swank, Daniel C. Funk and John Manire
Abstract: This investigation evaluated changes in ratings of perceived exertion for leisure and daily living activities as assessed by the Borg 15-point category rating scale [CR-15] in 33 [10 males and 23 females] healthy elderly men and women following participation in a low intensity exercise program. An Activity Recall Questionnaire [ARQ] consisting of 27 items was developed consisting of four categories of leisure and daily living activities: gardening and yard-work, household chores, move about activities and personal care. The ARQ was presented to each subject before and after participation in a 10-week low intensity exercise program. For statistical analysis subjects were divided into three groups based on attendance [0-50%, 51-74% and > 75%]. Since an individualís perception may be interrelated, a multivariate t-test was used to assess differences. Analysis indicated no differences in ratings for any activity with the 0-50% and 51-75% attendance groups. For the group that attended >75% subjective perception of exertion was significantly [p < 0.05] attenuated for the following activities: spading/digging/filling in garden [[13.7[0.67] - 12.7[0.72]]: raking lawn/leaves [12.7[1.1] - 11.7 [0.80]]: fixing dinner [10.8[1.5] - 9.2 [0.60]] and grocery shopping [10.3[1.2] - 9.1[0.79]]. Results indicate that participation in low intensity exercise caused a significant reduction in perceived exertion for yard-work, raking lawn/leaves, grocery shopping and fixing dinner. A more aggressive program may be necessary to induce changes in perception for other activities. Many elderly do not perform certain activities simply on the basis of a perception that the activity may be too difficult. Participation in a low intensity exercise may enhance self-efficacy of the elderly and contribute to increases in activity.