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This study aimed to identify determinants of quantitative dimensions of physical activity (PA; duration, frequency, and intensity) in community-dwelling, multi-morbid, older persons with cognitive impairment (CI). In addition, qualitative and quantitative aspects of habitual PA have been described. Quantitative PA and qualitative gait characteristics while walking straight and while walking turns were documented by a validated, sensor-based activity monitor. Univariate and multiple linear regression analyses were performed to delineate associations of quantitative PA dimensions with qualitative characteristics of gait performance and further potential influencing factors (motor capacity measures, demographic, and health-related parameters). In 94 multi-morbid, older adults (82.3 ± 5.9 years) with CI (Mini-Mental State Examination score: 23.3 ± 2.4), analyses of quantitative and qualitative PA documented highly inactive behavior (89.6% inactivity) and a high incidence of gait deficits, respectively. The multiple regression models (adjusted R2 = 0.395-0.679, all p < 0.001) identified specific qualitative gait characteristics as independent determinants for all quantitative PA dimensions, whereas motor capacity was an independent determinant only for the PA dimension duration. Demographic and health-related parameters were not identified as independent determinants. High associations between innovative, qualitative, and established, quantitative PA performances may suggest gait quality as a potential target to increase quantity of PA in multi-morbid, older persons.

Original publication




Journal article


Sensors (basel)

Publication Date





activity behavior, determinants, gait, qualitative, regularity, sensor-based, symmetry, turning