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JFSF Vol 6, No 3, September 2021, p.98-110

doi: 10.22540/JFSF-06-098


Original Article

Using accelerometers in the assessment of sarcopenia in older adults attending a day hospital service in Ireland

Kieron Connolly1,2, Conal Cunningham3, Niamh Murphy1, Roman Romero-Ortuno3,4, Frances Horgan2

  1. St James’s Hospital, Physiotherapy Department, Ireland
  2. Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) University of Medicine and Health Sciences, School of Physiotherapy, Ireland
  3. St James’s Hospital, Mercers Institute of Successful Ageing, Ireland
  4. Trinity College Dublin, Department of Medical Gerontology, Ireland

Keywords: Accelerometer, Day Hospital, Frailty, Physical Activity, Sarcopenia


Objectives: The aim of this study was to describe the associations between sarcopenia and variables derived from wrist accelerometry in community-dwelling older adults attending a day hospital service in Ireland. Methods: An observational cross-sectional study was carried out using a consecutive series of older adults attending a day hospital service. Sarcopenia was diagnosed using the latest European Working Group of Sarcopenia in Older People guidelines. Accelerometers were worn by each participant for a 7-day period on their non-dominant wrist. Results: Thirty-eight out of forty-one participants (93%) met the accelerometer wear time criterion and were included in statistical analyses. Included participants had a mean age of 81.1 years (standard deviation 6.2). Both sarcopenia (Grip) and sarcopenia (Lower limb) were associated with increased time spent in low physical activity and reduced average of Kcals per hour. Only sarcopenia (Lower limb) was associated with increased time in sedentary behaviour as well as reduced number of steps taken in a week. Conclusions: Accelerometer data can be used in an older day hospital population to track physical activity levels and sedentary behaviours. The assessment tool used to assess muscle strength and the cut-off criteria for physical activity behaviour influences the association with sarcopenia.