Age-stratified differences of physical capacity in rural community-dwelling Taiwanese older women: A cross-sectional study

Yu Zu Wu, Hwan Wun Liu, Peter Pin Sung Liu, Li Ning Peng, Shinn Zong Lin, Ching Hui Loh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objectives: Physical capacity decline may precede physical disability. We explored age-related physical capacity decline among rural community-dwelling Taiwanese older women to provide reference values and to identify indicators of early-onset decline in physical capacity. Methods: Older women aged 65–96 were recruited from rural community centers. Physical capacity was measured by handgrip strength (HS), gait speed (GS), five-times-sit-to-stand (5xSTS), timed up and go (TUG), and the Berg balance scale (BBS). Participants were stratified into four age groups: 65–69, 70–74, 75–79, and ≥80 years. Results: Of 137 participants, 61 % exhibited poor 5xSTS, 34–49 % showed low HS, poor TUG and BBS, and 26 % had slow GS. The mean values in GS, HS, 5xSTS, TUG, and BBS were 1.02 m/s, 17.8 kg, 14.5 s, 12.6 s, and 50 points, respectively. Abnormal mean values were first noted at age 70–74 years for 5xSTS, age 75–79 years for HS, TUG, and BBS, and age ≥80 years for GS. Also, more than half the participants exhibited the first poor 5xSTS at age 70–74 years; the first poor HS and TUG at age 75–79 years; and lastly, the first poor BBS and GS at age ≥80 years. At age 65–69 years, 14–41 % of participants reported poor performance in all measures except for GS. Conclusions: Low HS and poor 5xSTS and TUG performance were more common and had earlier onset than slow GS. More attention should be directed toward the 5xSTS, TUG, and HS in rural community-dwelling Taiwanese older women.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104123
JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2020


  • Five-times-sit-to-stand
  • Gait speed
  • Handgrip strength
  • Older women
  • Physical capacity


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