• 2020 GAPNA Pharmacology Conference: Contemporary Pharmacology and Prescribing in Older AdultsJoin us at the 2020 GAPNA Pharmacology Conference:
    Contemporary Pharmacology and Prescribing in Older Adults

    April 14-18, 2020, Honolulu, HI.

    Earn up to 18 CNE hours.


    Find out more about it and REGISTER today!

  • W A N T E D   G A P N A   L E A D E R S!
    Call for Nominations!

    Have you ever considered stepping forward, accepting the challenge and volunteering for a position on the 2020-21 National Board of Directors? Register online NOW by March 22, 2020!

    Step Up - NOW is the Time! Register Here>

  • AwardNew for GAPNA members: MCM Education

    GAPNA has partnered with a MCM Education to offer an ongoing series of CNE programs available to GAPNA members. "Diagnosing and Managing Parkinson’s Disease in Older Adults," is the latest program offered.

    Parkinson’s disease (PD) is characterized by both motor and nonmotor symptoms. It is diagnosed based on the presence of two of four motor symptoms including rest tremor, bradykinesia, rigidity, and gait imbalance...

    Find out about it!

  • ConventionCALL FOR: Podium and Poster Abstracts

    For the 38th GAPNA Annual Conference
    at the Hyatt Regency
    New Orleans, LA, September 24-26, 2020

    GAPNA members are invited to submit an abstract about their innovative work, that should enrich the APRN's knowledge and/or enhance the care of an older adult. Deadline March 15, 2020.

    Find out more info and deadline dates

  • FREE CE for GAPNA MembersFREE continuing education credit is available for the following session:

    "Update in Chronic Kidney Disease Management and Prescribing"

    (session captured at the GAPNA 2018 Annual Conference)

    For January/February 2020 - Get Your Free CNE Now!

Physical Activity Benefits

Fragmented Physical Activity Linked to Higher Risk of Death in Older Adults

Daily physical activity, which benefits health and quality of life, typically decreases in older adults.

A new study shows that higher fragmentation of that activity – more transitions from activity to sedentariness – may be a better indicator of risk of death than a person's overall level of physical activity (Wanigatunga et al., 2019).

Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, analyzed data from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA), looking at a week's worth of minute-by-minute physical activity for 548 healthy participants age 65 and older (average age, 76). Participants wore an accelerometer, a device that tracked their level of physical activity continuously for a week. Sixty-one of the participants (11%) died during a mean follow-up period of 4 years.

Fragmented physical activity, but not total daily activity, was significantly associated with death, the researchers found. For each 10% higher degree of activity fragmentation, mortality risk was 49% greater. The duration of physical activity also mattered: Participants who frequently engaged in short bouts of activity of less than 5 minutes were more likely to die than those whose activity bouts lasted 5 minutes or longer. These associations held after adjusting for age, sex, body mass index, and other factors.

As in previous studies of physical activity and death, the participants who died had spent less time being physically active than those who lived. However, unlike other studies, the difference in total physical activity here (4.7 hours per day vs. 5.7 hours per day, on average) was not significant, perhaps because the BLSA population was healthier and higher functioning than those in other studies, the authors noted.

Fragmented physical activity may be a more sensitive marker of declining health and premature death than total daily activity, the authors concluded. Further study is needed to determine more completely the effects of remaining active for longer periods of time.


Wanigatunga, A.A., Di, J., Zipunnikov, V., Urbanek, J.K., Kuo, P.L., Simonsick, E.M., … Schrack, J.A. (2019). Association of total daily physical activity and fragmented physical activity with mortality in older adults. JAMA Network Open, 2(10), e1912352. https://doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.12352.

Join your friends in Honolulu, Hawaii at the 2020 GAPNA Contemporary Pharmacology and Prescribing in Older Adults Conference on April 14-18, 2020.

Learn more and register today!