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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Disability, physical activity, health, health status and chronic diseases in adults
by Rosenberg, Shirit Chaia-Rivka, Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University, 2015, 270; 3704483
Abstract (Summary)

There is a great deal of concern regarding the levels of physical inactivity in people with disability, which is more prevalent than in the general population. Inactivity in individuals with disabilities can lead to higher rates of chronic diseases and obesity and vice versa. Moreover, disability is increasing in middle-aged adults while decreasing among older adults. This purpose of this dissertation was to: 1) evaluate the prevalence of disability across the lifespan, 2) to examine the relationships between disability (DA), physical activity (PA), and factors associated with them, and 3) to look at the trends in these factors to understand the patterns occurring in middle-aged adults compared with older adults.

Data analyzed for this dissertation were collected as part of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS) conducted between 2003 and 2011. Measures included DA, PA, chronic diseases, sociodemographics, health risk behaviors, and health status.

In our first study, we found that respondents categorized as disabled or functionally limited reported less PA, more chronic diseases, and poorer health behaviors than those categorized as able bodied. There was a higher prevalence of DA in the middle-aged and older adults compared to younger adults. Individuals with lower incomes and those with chronic diseases were more likely to be classified as having a disability compared to individuals with higher incomes and individuals without chronic disease. Our second study showed that middle-aged people were less likely to meet physical activity recommendations compared with older adults. Having a DA and being in poor health were strongly associated with not meeting the PA recommendations. In our third study, we found all the age groups showed an increase in functional limitation and DA over time. Further, among all age groups there was an increase in meeting aerobic recommendations over time. Our studies showed that DA and functional limitation are strongly associated with unhealthy behaviors and chronic diseases and poorer health. Moreover, middle-aged and older adults showed similar results in DA and PA recommendations. Given that physical inactivity has the potential to reduce disability, prevent chronic disease and enhance health, greater public health attention to what is warranted.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Garber, Carol Ewing
Commitee: Ciccolo, Joseph, Greaney, Mary
School: Teachers College, Columbia University
Department: Biobehavioral Science
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-B 76/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Health sciences, Epidemiology
Keywords: Chronic diseases, Disability, Health, Physical activity
Publication Number: 3704483
ISBN: 978-1-321-76910-4
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