gms | German Medical Science

Physical activity and successful aging
10th International EGREPA Conference

European Group for Research into Elderly and Physical Activity

14.09. - 16.09.2006 in Köln

Determinants of maintenance of physical activity after an exercise intervention in elderly with mild cognitive impairment

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author E. Tak - Organisation for Applied Scientific Research TNO, Delft, The Netherlands
  • J. van Uffelen - Free University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • M. Chin A Paw - Free University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • W. van Mechelen - Free University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • M. Hopman-Rock - Organisation for Applied Scientific Research TNO, Delft, The Netherlands

Physical activity and successful aging. Xth International EGREPA Conference. Cologne, 14.-16.09.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. Doc06pasa086

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Veröffentlicht: 18. Dezember 2006

© 2006 Tak et al.
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In 2004 the FACT study was started (Folate physical Activity Cognition Trial) to evaluate the effect of physical exercise (i.e. moderate intensive walking) and vitamin B supplementation in adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment, compared to placebo pills and a low intensity placebo activity program The design of this 4 arm RCT has been described in detail elsewhere [1]. The duration of the intervention was 12 months. Six months after the end of the intervention a follow-up was carried out to evaluate: (1) whether participants maintained their activity level (i.e. their daily general physical activity and their specific intervention activity). (2) determinants of maintenance to physical activity


In total 138 elderly finished the FACT study. Of these subjects the following variables were measured at baseline: background (sex, age, education, marital status), level of cognitive function (MMSE) and physical activity (Longitudinal Ageing Study Amsterdam physical activity Questionnaire: LAPAQ). The LAPAQ measures daily physical activities during the past two weeks. These 138 elderly were contacted at 6 months follow-up for a telephone interview concerning their current daily physical activity level, barriers for physical activity, lapses in physical activity during the intervention period and satisfaction with the activity intervention.

A regression analysis was carried out to evaluate the contribution of these variables to the level of maintenance at follow up.


In total 134 follow-up interviews were conducted. One respondent had died and 3 could not be contacted. Forty-one percent was female and 25% lived alone. Average MMSE score at baseline was 28.4 (sd 1,4; range 24-30), indicating reasonable cognitive functioning.

About 1/3 of the respondents had lapses during the intervention period but ended the program, 1/3 had no lapses and completed the program and 1/3 dropped out during the intervention. Most stated reasons for having lapses during the intervention period were holidays, illnesses, physical complaints and other activities.

At the end of the study about 25% continued with the walking or placebo activity, 14% had the intention to start again, about 61% had no intention at all to continue. Most stated reasons for not continuing the physical activity after the end of the study were lack of time, injury, health complaints, practical limitations of activity (location, time of day) and advice of physician.


Based on these data it can be concluded that maintenance of the exercise programs is difficult.

Possible improvements and determinants (i.e. lapses) enhancing or threatening maintenance in older adults with mild cognitive impairment will be discussed.


Van Uffelen, Protocol for project FACT: a randomised controlled trial on the effect of a walking program and vitamin B supplementation on the rate of cognitive decline and psychosocial wellbeing in older adults with mild cognitive impairment (ISRCTN19227688). BMC Geriatrics. 2005;5:18.