Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Quantifying physical activity in aged residential care facilities: A structured review

Lookup NU author(s): Dr RĂ­ona McArdle, Dr Silvia Del DinORCiD, Professor Lynn RochesterORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


Background: Engaging aged residential care (ARC) residents with physical activity (PA) may be a useful strategy to decelerate dependence and disability. It is unclear what volume, intensity and patterns of PA ARC residents participate in. This review aims to synthesize the literature to quantify the volume, intensity and pattern of PA that ARC residents participate in across differing care levels (e.g. low, intermediate, high, mixed), and make recommendations for future research. Methods: 30 studies of 48,760 yielded were systematically reviewed. Results: Questionnaires and technological tools were used to assess PA, with accelerometers used in 70% of studies. Overall, studies reported low volumes and intensities of PA across all care levels, and suggested limited variation in patterns of PA (e.g. little day-to-day variation in total PA). There was limited inclusion of people with cognitive impairment, potentially causing representativeness bias. Findings were limited by lack of consistency in methodological approaches and PA outcomes. Discussion: Based on findings and limitations of current research, we recommend that total volume or low-light intensity PA are more useful interventional outcomes than higher-intensity PA. Researchers also need to consider which methodology and PA outcomes are most useful to quantify PA in ARC residents.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Mc Ardle R, Sverdrup K, Del Din S, Lord S, Kerse N, Rochester L, Taylor L

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Ageing Research Reviews

Year: 2021

Volume: 67

Online publication date: 13/02/2021

Acceptance date: 09/02/2021

ISSN (print): 1568-1637


DOI: 10.1016/j.arr.2021.101298