American Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN (Print): 2333-4592 ISSN (Online): 2333-4606 Website: Editor-in-chief: Ratko Pavlović
Open Access
Journal Browser
American Journal of Sports Science and Medicine. 2014, 2(4), 148-153
DOI: 10.12691/ajssm-2-4-6
Open AccessArticle

Age-and Gender-related Differences in Physical Functions of the Elderly following 1-year Regular Exercise Therapy: Comparison with Standard Values

Hiroe Sugimoto1, , Shinichi Demura2 and Yoshinori Nagasawa3

1Kyoto Women’s University, Kyoto, Japan

2Graduate School of Natural Science & Technology, Kanazawa University, Ishikawa, Japan

3Department of Health and Sports Sciences, Kyoto Pharmaceutical University, Kyoto, Japan

Pub. Date: June 23, 2014

Cite this paper:
Hiroe Sugimoto, Shinichi Demura and Yoshinori Nagasawa. Age-and Gender-related Differences in Physical Functions of the Elderly following 1-year Regular Exercise Therapy: Comparison with Standard Values. American Journal of Sports Science and Medicine. 2014; 2(4):148-153. doi: 10.12691/ajssm-2-4-6


Only limited data are available regarding the physical functions of elderly patients during the maintenance period after suffering from cardiac or other serious diseases. This study aimed to clarify age- and gender-related differences in the elderly physical functions by mainly comparing data from elderly subjects during the maintenance period with nationwide physical fitness data of healthy elderly subjects collected by the Japanese Ministry of Education. One hundred and sixty-seven elderly individuals who participated in a regular exercise therapy program twice a week participated in this study. Grip strength, 10-m obstacle walking time, one-legged balance with eyes open, sit-ups, sitting trunk flexion, and 6-min walking were selected as the physical function tests. In the gender and age groups considered, compared with the standard value, grip strength, sit-ups, and sitting trunk flexion were lower; 10-m obstacle walking time was similar or higher; and 6-min walking data were similar. One-legged balance with eyes open was lower in subjects, except for males in the young elderly group. Grip strength was significantly higher in females than in males; however, the results from the 10-m obstacle walking time, one-legged balance with eyes open, sit-ups, and 6-min walking tests did not show any significant difference between genders. The young old elderly groups performed better in all tests, except for sit-ups and one-legged balance with eyes open (females), in both genders compared with the old elderly groups. In conclusion, during the maintenance period, the elderly subjects who participated in group sports and exercise therapy performed similarly or better in the 10-m obstacle walking time and 6-min walking tests than the healthy elderly individuals of the same age group; however, they performed worse in grip strength, sit-ups, and sitting trunk flexion. However, our results suggest that the effect of performing sports and exercise therapy may differ between genders.

physical function exercise therapy standard value

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit


[1]  Guccione, A.A., Felson, D.T., Anderson, J.J., Anthony, J.M., Zhang, Y., Wilson, P.W., Kelly-Hayes, M., Wolf, P.A., Kreger, B.E. and Kannel, W.B, “The effects of specific medical conditions on the functional limitations of elders in the Framingham study,” Am J Public Health, 84.351-358. 1994.
[2]  Paterson, D.H., Govindasamy, D., Vidmar, M., Cunningham, D.A. and Koval, J.J, “Longitudinal study of determinants of dependence in an elderly population,” J Am Geriatr Soc, 52.1632-1638. 2004.
[3]  Cabinet Office, “Aged society white paper (Heisei 25 edition).” Printing mail order Publisher, Tokyo, 2013, 14.
[4]  Penninx, B.W., Beekman, A.T., Honig, A., Deeg, D.J., Schoevers, R.A., van Eijk, J.T. and van Tilburg, W, “Depression and cardiac mortality: results from a community-based longitudinal study,” Arch Gen Psychiatry, 58.221-227. 2001.
[5]  Suzuki Takao, Preventive care perfection manual Continued, Tokyo welfare health foundation, Tokyo, 2011.
[6]  Joint study group report of Japanese Circulation Society, Guidelines for rehabilitation in cardiovascular disease (JCS 2012), Japanese Association of Cardiac Rehabilitation, Tokyo, 2012, 50-54.
[7]  Hamazaki, H. and Shimomura, M, “Examination about amount of activities and intensity in sports cardiac rehabilitation,” Japanese Society for Adapted Physical Education and Exercise, 3. 48-56. 2005.
[8]  Kurose, S., Imai, M., Kagitani, K., Shithino,Y., Yamashita, M., Uenishi, K., Hamamithi, S., Masuda, I. and Hashimoto, T, “Comparison physical fitness in patients with or without cardiac disease during a maintenance phase of cardiac rehabilitation,” Japanese Association of Cardiac Rehabilitation, 14. 263-268. 2009.
[9]  Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture. New physical fitness test for meaningful use, Gyousei. Publishers, Tokyo, 2000.
[10]  Sugimoto, H., Demura, S. and Nagasawa, Y, “Age and gender-related differences in physical functions of the elderly following one-year regular exercise therapy,” Health, 6.792-801.April.2014.
[11]  Maruyama, Y., Furukawa, M. and Takei, M, “Aging and physical strength change in the senior citizens’ club officers of participation leader training session,” J Health Sports Sci Juntendo, 8. 43-47. 2004.
[12]  Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture, Physical strength and athletic ability investigation, 2012. [Online]. Available:[Accessed May. 2, 2014].
[13]  Martins, W.R., de Oliveira, R.J., Carvalho, R.S., de Oliveira Damasceno, V., da Silva, V.Z. and Silva, M.S, “Elastic resistance training to increase muscle strength in elderly: a systematic review with meta-analysis,” Arch Gerontol Geriatr, 57.8-15. 2013.
[14]  Ota, M., Ikezoe, T., Kaneoka, K. and Ichihashi, N, “Age-related changes in the thickness of the deep and superficial abdominal muscles in women,” Arch Gerontol Geriatr, 55. 26-30. 2012.
[15]  Kanehisa, H., Miyatani, M., Azuma, K., Kuno, S. and Fukunaga, T, “Influences of age and sex on abdominal muscle and subcutaneous fat thickness” Eur J Appl Physiol, 91. 534-537. 2004.
[16]  Murata, S., Otao, H., Murata, J., Horie, J, Miyazaki, J., Yamazaki, S. and Mizota, K, “Relationships between Ability to Raise the Upper Body and Physical and Psychological Functions of Community-Dwelling Elderly, J Phys Ther Sci, 25.115-119. 2010.
[17]  Cooper, R., Hardy, R., Aihie Sayer, A., Ben-Shlomo, Y., Birnie, K., Cooper, C., Craig, L., Deary, I.J., Demakakos, P., Gallacher, J., McNeill,G., Martin, R.M., Starr, J.M., Steptoe, A. and Kuh, D, “Age and gender differences in physical capability levels from mid-life onwards: the harmonisation and meta-analysis of data from eight UK cohort studies,” PLoS One, 6. e27899. 2011.
[18]  Kimura, M., Hirakawa, K., Okuno, T., oda, Y., Morimoto, T., Kitani, T., Fujita, D. and Nagata, H, “An analysis of physical fitness in the aged people with fitness battery test,” Jpn J Phys Fitness Sports Med, 38.175-185. 1989.
[19]  Hess, J.A. and Woollacott, M, “Effect of high-intensity strength-training on functional measures of balance ability in balance-impaired older adults,” Manipulative Physiol Ther, 28. 582-90. 2005.
[20]  Thaweewannakij, T., Wilaichit, S., Chuchot, R., Yuenyong, Y., Saengsuwan, J., Siritaratiwat, W. and Amatachaya, S, “Reference values of physical performance in Thai elderly people who are functioning well and dwelling in the community,” Phys Ther, 93. 1312-1320. 2013.
[21]  Nagasawa, Y., Demura, S. and Hamazaki, H, “Age and sex differences of controlled force exertion measured by a computer-generated quasi-random target-pursuit system, J Musculoskelet Neuronal Interact, 10.237-244. 2010.
[22]  Riemann, B.L., DeMont, R.G., Ryu, K. and Lephart, S.M, “The effects of sex, joint angle, and the gastrocnemius muscle on passive anklejoint complex stiffness,” J Athlete Training, 36. 369-377. 2001.
[23]  Rantanen, T., Era, P. and Heikkinen, E, “Maximal isometric strength and mobility among75-year-old men and women,” Age Ageing, 23. 132-137. 1994.