Samantha Webb1, Trudy Moore-Harrison1, L. Jerome Brandon, FACSM2. 1UNC Charlotte, Charlotte, NC. 2Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA.

BACKGROUND: During the aging process fitness and functional independence are reported to be associated with cardiovascular health. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine if participating in a fitness class and functional independence as measures by the timed-up-and-go(TUG) test are associated with cardiometabolic risk factors in older adults. METHODS: A correlational research design was used as 100 adults ≥ 55 years of age, who were participating in senior fitness classes, had blood profiles and functional independence assessments completed via PTS Diagnostics PTS760 CardioChek Plus Analyzer (Kernersville, NC, and the TUG test). The participants were 70.1 ± 5.7 years of age, completed informed consent prior to testing and were assessed during morning sessions. The blood profile included total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, blood glucose, and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c). The participants started the TUG test from a sitting position. On the signal “go” participants stood and walked quickly but comfortably, and without running, to and around a cone three meters away, back to the chair and sit. RESULTS: The participants cholesterol was 166 mg/dL, HDL-C was 51.3 mg/dL, triglyceride mg/dL was 137.1, blood glucose was 110.2 mg/dL, HbA1c was 6.2% and TUG time was 6.9 seconds. The cardiometabolic risk factors were generally not in the range to suggest a risk of developing cardiovascular disease. However, HbA1c and blood glucose levels suggest the group was prediabetic. When relationships were determined between TUG and the cardiometabolic risk factors, TUG was only related to HbA1c (p<0.0; r = 0.22). Although further research is needed to validate findings in this study. While fitness classes and functional independence enhances the quality of life in older adults by enhancing ambulatory skills, it does not appear to enhance cardiometabolic health in older adults.

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