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Body composition and patterns of spontaneous physical activity in athletes, light exercisers and sedentary old people

Grant number: 14/17120-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2015
Effective date (End): December 31, 2015
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Medicine - Medical Clinics
Principal Investigator:Eduardo Ferriolli
Grantee:Nuno Vinicius Moreira Delfino
Host Institution: Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto (FMRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil


The global population is increasingly aging, and countries such as Japan, China, representatives from North America and Europe, for example, already live with the difficulties associated with the fact of getting older. In 2025, Brazil will be the 6th country in the world in the number of people aged 60 or more and therefore also live with the limitations developed by age. Aging involves changes in physiological and nutritional status and body composition: there is increased body fat and decreased muscle tissue as well as several other factors. Physical activity in the elderly, in this context, has proved extremely important in healthcare. Physical activity as a whole, improves self-esteem and health perception of the elderly. There is a reduction in premature deaths, stroke, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, colon and breast cancers, as well as reduction or prevention of high blood pressure, gain of weight (decreases the risk of obesity). Physical activity also acts in reducing or preventing osteoporosis, stress, anxiety and depression, promoting wellness. There is no consensus in the literature, however, that in the elderly, exercise per se significantly alter body composition and weight. This study will aim, therefore, the measure body composition and objective physical activity (by using an actigraph), as well as their correlations, in elderly patients with different levels of physical activity. Three groups will be studied, one composed of older athletes, one composed of elderly people practicing light physical activity and sedentary elderly people. Anthropometry and the method of deuterated water will be used to assess body composition and new generation activity monitoring (ActivPALTM) for the measurement of spontaneous physical activity and estimation of energy expenditure. The correlations between variables will be evaluated in an attempt to determine whether, among the elderly, different levels of physical activity are associated with different patterns of body composition and spontaneous physical activity.

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