All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Eric Plaisance

Advisory Committee Members

Gordon Fisher

Gary Hunter

Donald Lein

Harshvardhan Singh

Document Type

Thesis

Date of Award

2018

Degree Name by School

Master of Science (MS) School of Education

Abstract

Background and Purpose: There is a well-established association between loss of muscle mass and decline in muscle strength and neuromuscular performance in older adults. However, fat mass may diminish the effect of muscle mass on functional performance in older adults. The relationships between percent total body fat, muscle strength, and neuromuscular performance in older adults is unknown. The purpose of this study is to assess the independent relationships between percent total body fat, muscle strength, and neuromuscular performance in older adults. Methods: Dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) was used to measure fat mass and leg lean mass in 60 older adults (men = 27, women = 32) between ages 55-75 (men = 64.8 ± 6.5 years, women = 62.5 ± 5.1 years). An average of three maximum, custom countermovement jumps were used to calculate jump power and jump height. Two leg press and right and left hip abduction strength were assessed by 1-repetition maximum testing. Results and Discussion: Stepwise sequential regression analysis of fat mass and leg lean mass versus jump test performance and measures of muscle strength after adjusting for age, height, and physical activity showed that fat mass negatively predicted 1) jump height (β = -0.381, P = 0.047) in men. In women, fat mass negatively predicted 1) jump height (β = -0.538, P = 0.003), 2) leg press (β = -0.583, P = 0.002), and 3) hip abduction iii (β = -0.671, p < 0.001). Leg lean mass predicted 1) jump power in women (β = 0.394, P = 0.047). Conclusions: Our findings suggest that fat mass has negative associations with jump test performance and muscle strength in older men and women, independent of age, height, physical activity, and leg lean mass. This knowledge is important for evidence-based musculoskeletal rehabilitation in a) older adults with sarcopenia and increased adiposity, and b) decisions about weight loss in older adults with obesity.

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