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Association between physical activity levels in mid-life with PA in old age

Key Message

Being physically active in mid-life increases the odds of being active in old age.


Aggio, Daniel et al. (2017). Association between physical activity levels in mid-life with physical activity in old age: a 20-year tracking study in a prospective cohort. DOI:


This study examined the tracking and predictability of physical activity in old age from overall physical activity and participation in sport, recreational activity and walking in mid-life. Participants and outcome measures. Men (n=3413) self-reported their physical activity at baseline, 12, 16 and 20-year follow-ups and were categorised as inactive or active and having high or low participation in sport, walking and recreational activities. Tracking was assessed using kappa statistics and random effects models. Logistic regression estimated the odds of being active at 20-year follow-up according to physical activity participation in mid-life.


Among 3413 men (mean age at baseline 48.6±5.4 years) with complete data, tracking of overall physical activity was moderate (kappa: 0.23–0.26). Tracking was higher for sports participation (kappa: 0.35–0.38) compared with recreational activity (kappa: 0.16–0.24) and walking (kappa: 0.11–0.15). Intraclass correlation coefficients demonstrated similar levels of stability and only marginally weakened after controlling for covariates. Compared with inactive men, being active at baseline was associated with greater odds of being active at 20-year follow-up (OR 2.7, 95% CI 2.4 to 3.2) after adjusting for sociodemographic, health and lifestyle variables. Playing sport in mid-life was more strongly associated with being active at 20-year follow-up than other domains, particularly when sport participation began earlier in life.

Benefit Statements / Outcomes

Leadership Provided By:

  • Leisure Information Network (LIN)
  • Alberta Recreation and Parks Association

On Behalf Of:

  • Canadian Parks and Recreation Association (CPRAA)

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