3 days popular7 days popular1 month popular3 months popular

Life-space mobility, quality of life, determined by physical function and sense of autonomy in older people

and sense of are independent determinants of life-space mobility in older people.

This was found in a study conducted at the of the University of Jyväskylä. In this project, 848 older men and women who lived independently in the Jyväskylä region in Central Finland were interviewed in their own homes.

Life-space mobility reflects a person’s mobility with or without the use of a vehicle. Life-space mobility reflects an individual’s opportunities to participate in society. An individual’s life-space may be restricted to one room; while going outdoors, into the town or beyond increases one’s life-space and thus affects a person’s quality of life.

Sense of autonomy is the perception of control over one’s life. Physical limitations may restrict a person’s possibilities to participate in activities outside of their own home when and how they want to. Other factors such as being a care giver or availability of transportation may also influence sense of autonomy, Postdoctoral Researcher Erja Portegijs explains.

Both physical function and sense of autonomy affect a person’s behavior. This means that we may need to pay attention to psychosocial factors, in addition to physical function, when evaluating a person’s mobility or life-space for example in the clinical setting, Portegijs states.

The results were published online in the international scientific Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.


This research was funded by the Academy of Finland ASU-LIVE thematic program and the Ministry of Education and Culture.

The Gerontology Research Center (GEREC) is a joint effort between the University of Jyväskylä and the University of Tampere.

Portegijs E, Rantakokko M, Mikkola TM, Viljanen A, Rantanen T. Association Between Physical Performance and Sense of Autonomy in Outdoor Activities and Life-Space Mobility in Community-Dwelling Older People. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 2014 (early online). DOI: 10.1111/jgs.12763

Academy of Finland