Scientific Programme
Abstract
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Abstract
Year 2021
October 2021

SHBC1707

Abstract Title
Housework is associated with better cognitive, physical and sensorimotor functions in community-dwelling older adults – the Yishun Study.
Authors

S.Y.LEE1, B.W.J.PANG2, L.K.LAU2, K.A.JABBAR2, W.T.SEAH2, K.K.CHEN2, T.P.NG3, S.L.WEE1

Institutions

Singapore Institute of Technology1, Geriatric Research and Education Institute2, National University of Singapore3 

Background & Hypothesis

Regular moderate-to-vigorous intensity recreational physical activity (PA) protects against ill health. The relationship between non-recreational PA with ageing health is less explored, especially in high income countries. We examined the associations between housework and functional health among younger and older Singaporean community-dwelling adults.

Methods

Younger (<65yrs,n=249) and older (≥65yrs,n=240) adults were randomly recruited cross-sectionally from a large Singapore residential town. Light (LH) and heavy housework (HH), recreational, occupational and transport-related PA were assessed using PA questionnaires. Participants were dichotomised into low- and high-volume LH and HH groups. Physical, cognitive and sensorimotor functions were measured using Short Physical Performance Battery, repeated-chair-sit-to-stand, gait speed, Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS) and Physiological Profile Assessment (PPA). Results were adjusted for level of recreational and other non-recreational PA.

Results

High housework groups had 5–8% higher RBANS score than low housework groups, among older adults only. Specifically, HH was associated with 14% higher attention score, and LH with 8–12% higher immediate/delayed memory scores. In older adults, sit-to-stand-time and PPA scores were 8% and 23% lower in high HH than low HH group. SPPB and gait speed did not differ with age or HH. LH was not associated with physical or sensorimotor function.

Discussion & Conclusion

Among older adults, housework is associated with better cognitive function, specifically in attention and memory. Associations between housework with physical and sensorimotor performance were intensity-dependent. In Singapore, housework PA may improve functional health among community-dwelling older adults, independent of recreation and other non-recreational physical activities.

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