ABSTRACT Aging induces decrease of locomotor capacity and its decrease is associated with an increased risk of falls. Several lines of evidence indicate that both change in muscle power and aerobic fitness are causative. Mobility tests are usually based on a maximal exercise stress test; however, this test is often difficult and sometimes frightening to older persons. Therefore, the objective of this study was to examine age and gender differences in 3-min walk distance test (3WDT), and time of chair-rising test (CRT) of functional mobility. 153 men and 159 women aged from 20 to 78 years were recruited as subjects of the present study. The body composition measured the height, body mass (BM), body mass index (BMI), lean tissue mass (LTM), and waist circumference (WC). The Functional mobility tests measured the peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak), 3WDT, leg extension strength (LES), and times of CRT. Both in men and women, height and BMI, WC decreased and increased, respectively, with age. Height, BM, LTM, WC in men are higher than in women. We found no correlation between ages and 3WDT in women and a significant, negative correlation in men. All parameters of fitness performance were negatively correlated with age. Both in men and women, all parameters of fitness performance were positively correlated with sex. Both in men and women, VO2peak, 3WDT, and LES decreased with age. All parameters of fitness performance in men are higher than in women. Both in men and women were observed for the correlation between 3WDT and VO2peak, LES and CRT respectively. Although as the correlation coefficient between 3WTD and VO2peak, LES and CRT were low (r = 0.28 - 0.38), an error may occur, this study shows that 3WDT and CRT test can be a feasible method of providing the information for muscle power and aerobic fitness, possibly avoiding the need for a maximal stress test.
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