PNF and Movement 2021; 19(3): 331-340
Analysis of Body Composition and Functional Physical Performance in Urban-Dwelling Elderly Women with or without Obesity
Seung-Jun Choi, Ph.D.
Department of Sport and Health Sciences, Kyungsung University
Correspondence to: Seung-Jun Choi (
Received: October 27, 2021; Revised: November 7, 2021; Accepted: November 9, 2021; Published online: December 31, 2021.
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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the differences in body composition, upper and lower limb muscle strength, and functional physical ability in urban-dwelling elderly women with or without obesity.
Methods: All study participants were assigned to the normal weight group (n=8, BMI<25) and the obesity group (n=7, BMI>25) based on their obesity rate. Anthropometric measurement was conducted and body composition was measured. For the upper and lower limb strength, grip strength and maximal isometric knee extension and flexion were evaluated by a dynamometer. The senior fitness test was performed to measure functional ability. Data analysis was conducted by the independent t-test and the alpha level was set at 0.05.
Results: The waist, hips, and thighs of obese elderly women were thicker than those of normal-weight elderly women. This physical difference resulted from body fat mass, not muscle mass. Despite a similar level of limb muscle mass between the two groups, the upper limb grip strength was higher (24.00% for left, 19.95% for right) in the normal-weight women than the obese women (p<0.05), but otherwise there was no difference in maximal knee flexion or extension isometric strength. Functional physical ability showed no difference in a 30-second chair sit and stand test and a six-minute walk test, but a 30-second arm-curl (11.00% for left, 14.81% for right), back stretch (8.54cm for left, 8.99cm for right), chair sit and reach (9.22cm for left, 6.24cm for right), and 2.44 meter round trip walk (0.62 sec, 9.39%) were faster in performance for normal-weight elderly women than obese elderly women (p<0.05).
Conclusion: Taken together, despite similar levels of upper and lower extremity muscle mass, normal-weight elderly women showed higher performance in upper limb strength, flexibility, and agility than obese elderly women, but there was no difference in lower extremity functional muscle strength and cardiopulmonary endurance.
Keywords: Obesity, Elderly, Strength, Senior fitness test

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