Introduction: Physical activity is one of the basic elements that affect functional performance and body composition. The age may result in adverse changes in these parameters. The study aimed to compare the functional fitness and body composition in physically active women over 60 years old in different age groups and determine the relationship between those two components.
Material and methods: The study participants attended gymnastic classes at the University of Third Age of Warsaw University of Technology. A total of 39 women were examined in three age categories - 60-64 years (13 women), 65-69 years (13 women), 70-74 years (13 women). The study used the Senior Fitness Test (SFT) to assess functional fitness. Body composition was tested using a device Tanita BC 420.
Results: Statistical analysis showed no statistically significant (p≤0.05) differences in functional fitness and body composition between women of different age groups. A statistically significant negative correlation was found for Back Scratch test with BMI and percentage of body fat and a positive with muscle mass. Additionally, 8-ft up-and-go test positively correlated with BMI and percentage of body fat and negatively with muscle mass.
Conclusions: Regular physical activity allows to maintain the level of functional fitness in older women. Element requiring additional commitment are flexibility exercises. The study confirmed the relationship between body composition and functional fitness of older women.