Differences in Causes of Activity Limitation by Sex and Age

Main Article Content

Seong Eon Kim
Young Soo Lee
ji Young Lee


activity limitation, age, cause, sex


Background and Objective
Activity is part of people’s daily lives, and activity limitation (AL) causes could be physical and mental problems. This study analyzes the causes of AL by sex and age group in adults.

Material and Methods
This study analyzed records surveyed using the Korea National Health and Nutrition Survey Questionnaire during 2013–2017. The subjects were 1597 men and 2249 women aged 30–79 years. The questionnaire assessed AL causes, and a chi-squared test analyzed age- and sex-based differences.

Among the subjects, 45.8% men and 51.2% women reported AL occurrence. AL was prevalent among 18.5% men and 20.5% women in their 30s, and these numbers were correspondingly 60.9 and 60.6% for participants in their 70s. None reported one reported among men participants in their 30s. However, 3.2 and 3.9% of women in their 70s reported ≥3 AL causes. The most cause of AL for all ages is musculoskeletal problems. The main AL cause among people in their 30s was musculoskeletal and mental problems, whereas those in their 70s reported multiple causes, such as vision, hearing, respiratory, and musculoskeletal problems. Stroke, cancer, and hearing problem occurrences were significantly different between men and women, and women reported higher AL rate than men (p<0.05).

AL causes varied more among older adults than younger adults. Musculoskeletal problems are a major cause of AL for all ages. In addition, the proportion of occurrence of mental problems was relatively high in young adults. Therefore, different healthcare methods should be developed to resolve AL in different populations according to their age and specific problems.


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