Relationship between physical activity and physical performance in later life in different birth weight groups

H. Jantunen, N. S. Wasenius, M. K. Salonen, M.-M. Perälä, H. Kautiainen, M. Simonen, P. Pohjolainen, E. Kajantie, M. B. von Bonsdorff, J. G. Eriksson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


There is strong evidence that physical activity (PA) has an influence on physical performance in later life. Also, a small body size at birth has been associated with lower physical functioning in older age and both small and high birth weight have shown to be associated with lower leisure time physical activity. However, it is unknown whether size at birth modulates the association between PA and physical performance in old age. We examined 695 individuals from the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study born in Helsinki, Finland between 1934 and 1944. At a mean age of 70.7 years PA was objectively assessed with a multisensory activity monitor and physical performance with the Senior Fitness Test (SFT). Information on birth weight and gestational age was retrieved from hospital birth records. The study participants were divided in three birth weight groups, that is = 3500 g. The volume of PA was significantly associated with the physical performance in all birth weight groups. However, the effect size of the association was large and significant only in men with a birth weight

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)95-101
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
  • 3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
  • aging
  • birth weight
  • physical activity
  • physical performance
  • SIZE

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