Background: Engaging aged residential care (ARC) residents with physical activity (PA) may be a useful strategy to decelerate dependence and disability. It is unclear what volume, intensity and patterns of PA ARC residents participate in. This review aims to synthesize the literature to quantify the volume, intensity and pattern of PA that ARC residents participate in across differing care levels (e.g. low, intermediate, high, mixed), and make recommendations for future research.
Methods: 30 studies of 48,760 yielded were reviewed using systematic review strategies.
Results: Questionnaires and technological tools were used to assess PA, with accelerometers employed in 70% of studies. Overall, studies reported low volumes and intensities of PA across all care levels, and suggested limited variation in patterns of PA (e.g. little day-to-day variation in total PA). There was limited inclusion of people with cognitive impairment, potentially causing representativeness bias. Findings were limited by lack of consistency in methodological approaches and PA outcomes.
Discussion: Based on findings and limitations of current research, we recommend that total volume or low-light intensity PA are more useful interventional outcomes than higher-intensity PA. Researchers also need to consider which methodology and PA outcomes are most useful to quantify PA in ARC residents.