• 1 Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
Jurnal Sains Kesihatan Malaysia, 2015;15(22):97-102.


The expansion of ageing population has gained much public attention on the importance of healthy and successful ageing,
which is absence of major chronic diseases, preserved physiological and cognitive functioning and active engagement
with life. Previous studies have found there was a significant correlation between physical fitness with cognition. However,
the relationship between physical fitness with successful and unsuccessful cognitive ageing groups are very limited. This
study was aimed to identify the significant physical fitness components that contribute in reducing risk of cognitive decline
represented as different cognitive ageing groups. A total of 300 community-based elderly aged 60 and above from the
states of Selangor, Perak and Kelantan were recruited using multistage random sampling method in this cross-sectional
study. Cognitive function of subjects was categorized into three groups, namely Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) (n
= 100), Usual Ageing (UA) (n = 100) and Successful Ageing (SA) (n = 100) based on defined criteria. Senior Fitness
Tests included 2-minute step, handgrip strength, chair stand, chair sit-and-reach, 8 foot up-and-go and back scratch
were measured to determine the cardiorespiratory fitness; muscle strength; agility and flexibility of subjects. SA group
had significantly better performance than non-SA groups in all fitness components, except for chair sit-and-reach. After
controlling for age, gender, education years and smoking status, handgrip strength and chair stand tests were associated
with a reduced risk of MCI by 7% [OR: 0.93, 95% C.I: 0.88-0.99, p < 0.05] and 15% [OR: 0.85, 95% C.I: 0.75-0.95, p <
0.01], respectively. These findings suggest that older adults with higher upper and lower body muscular strength could
serve as protective factors for cognitive impairment. Further research is warranted to evaluate the mechanism of physical
and cognitive decline such as Motoric Cognitive Risk Syndrome (MCR) in more detailed for the purpose for promoting
healthy and successful ageing.