The correlates of slow gait and its relation with social network among older adults in Singapore

Saleha Shafie, Shazana Shahwan, Edimansyah Abdin, Janhavi Vaingankar, Louisa Picco, Rajeswari Sambasivam, Yunjue Zhang, Li Ling Ng, Siow Ann Chong, Mythily Subramaniam

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: This study aimed to identify socio-demographic correlates of slow gait speed among Singapore older adult residents and to examine the relationship between slow gait speed and the older adult residents’ social network, physical health status, disability and mental health status. Methods: Trained interviewers administered the adapted 10/66 research protocol through face-to-face interviews to 2565 respondents aged 60 and over. Information on gait test, socio-demographic characteristics, obesity, social network, physical status and activity, overall health, disability and mental health status were collected. The gait test was completed by 2192 participants. Slow gait was defined as walking speed of 1 standard deviation (SD) below age and gender specific mean gait of the sample. Results: The prevalence of slow gait speed after adjusting for age and gender was 13.7%. Slow gait speed was more prevalent among Indians, respondents with low education, and those who were retired. Those with slow gait speed were significantly associated with lower probability of being unemployed and attending religious activities. They were significantly associated with not being physically active and reported a higher disability score. Conclusion: Older adult residents’ socio-demographic factors were found to be associated with gait speed. Those with slow gait speed were not physically active and had less frequent contact with people through religious activities and this might place them at risk of being socially isolated, which can have consequences. Gait speed can be included as a routine assessment tool to identify at-risk groups for interventions which aim to keep the older adults socially engaged and healthy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1171-1176
Number of pages6
JournalAging & Mental Health
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • gait speed
  • mental health
  • Older adults
  • physical activity
  • social network

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