Objectively measured physical activity is associated with frailty in community-dwelling older adults: A systematic review: A systematic review

Alec P. L. Tolley, Keenan A. Ramsey, Anna G. M. Rojer, Esmee M. Reijnierse, Andrea B. Maier

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The later-age shift towards physical inactivity and sedentary behaviour is associated with comorbidity and reduced function: markers of frailty. Whether these behaviours relate to frailty has yet to be thoroughly studied using objective measurements. This study aimed to summarise the associations of objectively measured habitual physical activity and sedentary behaviour with frailty in community-dwelling older adults. Study Design and Setting: Six databases were searched from inception to July 21st 2020. Articles analyzing objectively measured physical activity and/or sedentary behaviour with frailty in community-dwelling adults ≥60 years old were included. Synthesis of included articles was performed using effect direction heat maps and albatross plots. Results: The search identified 23 articles across 18 cohorts, including 7,696 total participants with a mean age of 69.3±8.1 years, and 56.9% female. All but one article were cross-sectional. Lower moderate-to-vigorous and total physical activity, steps, postural transitions, and energy expenditure were associated with frailty. The use of multifactorial or physical frailty definitions did not alter associations. Median effect sizes for the associations of all physical activity and sedentary behaviour measures with frailty were β = -0.272 [-0.381, -0.107] and β = 0.100 [0.001, 0.249], respectively. Conclusion: Objective measures of physical activity are associated with frailty, regardless of frailty definition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)218-230
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Clinical Epidemiology
Early online date26 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021


  • Accelerometry
  • Aged
  • Community dwelling
  • Frailty
  • Physical activity
  • Sedentary behaviour

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