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Effects of Sport Participation on Gait Coordination, Symmetry, and Variability in Older Adults

Mohsen Shafizadeh, Stuart Bonner, Jonathan Fraser, Shahab Parvinpour, Mohsen Shabani, and Andrew Barnes

The aim of this study was to compare the interlimb coordination, asymmetry, and variability between older adults who participated in sports (n = 25; age = 72.6 ± 6.46 years) and sedentary older adults (n = 20; age = 70.85 ± 3.82 years). The sport participants were selected from tennis and badminton clubs, whereas the sedentary participants were recruited from local community centers. The participants walked at their preferred speed in a 10-m walkway for 2 min. The interlimb coordination was measured by the phase coordination index. Other walking metrics were speed, cadence, swing time, stance time, double-support time, stride time, and swing time asymmetry. The results showed that the sport participants relative to the sedentary group had better interlimb coordination, higher walking speed and cadence, and less swing time variability. Young older adults also had a better interlimb coordination. In conclusion, the findings of this study showed that long-term participation in sports has some antiaging benefits on gait coordination and symmetry in older adults.

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Increasing Physical Activity in Empty Nest and Retired Populations Online: A Randomized Feasibility Study

Amy Cox and Ryan E. Rhodes

The onset of retirement and children leaving the family home may offer a “window of opportunity” for individuals to influence regular moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity; therefore, this study examines the feasibility of a moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity intervention among recently retired participants (RET) and parents (P) with children who recently left the family home. A total of 46 inactive RET and nine inactive P were randomized to a 10-week web intervention (n = RET = 25/P = 4) or waitlist control (n = RET = 21/P = 5). Intervention techniques followed the multiprocess action control framework. Enrollment (37.5% for P; 40% for RET), retention (89% for P; 83% for RET), and satisfaction were high. One hundred percent of intervention-sectioned participation increased moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity compared with 52% of controls; large effect size differences were observed for key multiprocess action control constructs. Participants were highly satisfied with the intervention; however, recruitment challenges of P support moving to a randomized controlled trial for only the RET group.

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Is Walk Score Associated With Physical Activity and Screen Time in Brazilian Older Adults?

Marcos Rescarolli, Francisco Timbó de Paiva Neto, Adalberto Aparecido dos Santos Lopes, Marcelo Dutra Della Justina, Anna Quialheiro Abreu da Silva, Eleonora d’Orsi, and Cassiano Ricardo Rech

This study aimed to examine the relationship between Walk Score index with walking to commuting, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, and screen time in older adults. Georeferenced addresses were entered into the Walk Score platform. Walking to commute and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity were assessed using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire and categorized according to the World Health Organization recommendations. Screen time was analyzed through self-reported time watching television/being on the computer. We used binary logistic regression to estimate the association between variables. Older adults who lived in places with higher Walk Score had a higher prevalence of walking to commuting (odds ratio = 1.73; 95% confidence interval [1.18, 2.55]) and engaging in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (odds ratio = 1.76; 95% confidence interval [1.05, 2.98]). A relationship also was observed between higher Walk Score and more time in screen time (odds ratio = 1.67; 95% confidence interval [1.19, 2.34]). The results showed that residing in a more walkable neighborhood increased the chances of the older adults spending 3 hr or more in front of a screen.

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Volume 31 (2023): Issue 3 (Jun 2023)

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Joy, Jobs, and Sweat: Older Adults’ Physical Activity During COVID-19 Lockdowns in New Zealand

Lisa Chamussy, Tessa Morgan, Kathryn Morgan, Lisa Williams, Janine Wiles, and Merryn Gott

This qualitative narrative correspondence study investigates older adults’ experiences of physical activity (PA) during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns in Aotearoa, New Zealand. This paper presents a reflexive thematic analysis of 501 letters received from 568 participants that discussed PA. Participants described PA as bringing joy and rhythm to daily life under stay-at-home measures. The most frequently discussed forms of PA included exercising, gardening, and housework. Four interconnected conceptual themes identified were as follows: (a) renegotiating environmental relationships, (b) social connection, (c) pleasure and PA, and (d) navigating active aging discourses. This paper emphasizes the important environmental and social motivations for becoming and remaining physically active despite restrictions on movement. Older adults’ understandings and performance of PA were heavily shaped by active aging discourses. As such, we suggest that initiatives seeking to promote PA should foreground older adults’ feelings of connection, productivity, and pleasure and recognize their diversity. This is contrary to current recommendations focused on duration or intensity of older adults’ PA.

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Predictors of Usual and Peak Gait Speed in Community-Dwelling Older Adults With Mild-to-Moderate Alzheimer’s Dementia

Dereck L. Salisbury, Molly Maxfield, Rodney P. Joseph, David Coon, Jinjiao Wang, Junxin Li, and Fang Yu

Gait speed significantly affects functional status and health outcomes in older adults. This cross-sectional study evaluated cognitive and physical fitness contributors to usual and peak gait speed in persons with Alzheimer’s dementia. Multiple hierarchal linear regression was used to obtain squared semipartial correlation coefficients (sr 2) and effect sizes (Cohen’s ƒ2). Participants (n = 90; 56% male) averaged 77.1 ± 6.6 years of age and 21.8 ± 3.4 on Mini-Mental State Examination. Demographic/clinical, physical fitness, and cognition variables explained 45% and 39% of variance in usual and peak gait speed, respectively. Muscle strength was the only significant contributor to both usual (sr 2 = .175; Cohen’s ƒ2 = 0.31; p < .001) and peak gait speed (sr 2 = .11; Cohen’s ƒ2 = 0.18; p < .001). Women who were “slow” walkers (usual gait speed <1.0 m/s) had significantly lower cardiorespiratory fitness and executive functioning compared with “fast” walkers. In conclusion, improving muscle strength may modify gait and downstream health outcomes in Alzheimer’s dementia.

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Use of Dual-Task Timed-Up-and-Go Tests for Predicting Falls in Physically Active, Community-Dwelling Older Adults—A Prospective Study

Yujie Tong, Jifeng Rong, Xiaochun Tian, Yejun Wang, Zhengquan Chen, Roger Adams, Jeremy Witchalls, Gordon Waddington, Doa El-Ansary, Sam Wu, Oren Tirosh, Tao Wu, and Jia Han

This prospective study aimed to determine which specific mobility tests were the most accurate for predicting falls in physically active older adults living in the community. Seventy-nine physically active older adults who met the American College of Sports Medicine physical activity guidelines volunteered. Participants were assessed and followed up for 12 months. Mobility assessments included the 30-s sit-to-stand test, five times sit-to-stand test, single-task timed-up-and-go test (TUG), motor dual-task TUG (Mot-TUG), and cognitive dual-task TUG (Cog-TUG). Mot-TUG and Cog-TUG performances were moderately correlated with number of falls (r = .359, p < .01 and r = .372, p < .01, respectively). When Mot-TUG, Cog-TUG, or Age were included as fall predictors, discrimination scores represented by the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) were AUC (Mot-TUG) = 0.843 (p < .01), AUC (Cog-TUG) = 0.856 (p < .01), and AUC (Age) = 0.734 (p < .05). The cutoff point for Cog-TUG was 10.98 s, with test sensitivity of 1.00 and specificity of 0.66. Fall predictors for different populations may be based on different test methods. Here, the dual-task TUG test more accurately predicted falls in older adults who met American College of Sports Medicine’s physical activity guidelines.

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What Is Known From the Published Literature About Yoga Interventions Delivered in Community Settings for Older Adults? A Systematic Scoping Review

Janet Lok Chun Lee, Jianli Xing, and Rainbow Tin Hung Ho

In recent years, mind–body exercises have arisen as a popular type of physical exercise among older adults in both Eastern and Western countries. In the last 10 years, yoga has been established as a key physical activity intervention for older adults. Thus, the literature on yoga interventions delivered in community settings for older adults warrants a formal appraisal. This scoping review synthesized information on intervention contents and outcomes and summarized data on attrition, adherence, and adverse events for community health practitioners. In addition, this review used the Template for Intervention Description and Replication and the Population, Intervention, Comparator, Outcome checklist to identify areas of depth and gaps in the literature on yoga interventions.

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The European Portuguese Version of the Composite Physical Function Scale: Cross-Cultural Adaptation and Validation in Community-Dwelling Older Adults

Vera Moniz-Pereira, Thaís Ferreira Silva, Eduardo B. Cruz, and Filomena Carnide

This study aims to perform the cross-cultural adaptation to European Portuguese of the Composite Physical Function Scale and to assess its validity and reliability in a sample of community-dwelling older adults. The scale was translated into European Portuguese, back translated, and piloted in a sample of 16 representative individuals. Its validity and reliability were tested in an independent sample of 114 community-dwelling older adults (52 were tested twice to assess test–retest reliability). The results showed that the scale had good internal consistency (α = .90), construct validity (ρ = .71) and measurement error (78.8% agreement), and excellent test–retest reliability (κ = .98). However, a ceiling effect was found as 28% of the participants achieved the highest possible score. Although the scale has good measurement properties, the presence of ceiling effects is indicative that this tool is not able to distinguish higher levels of intrinsic capacity within community-dwelling older adults.

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Exercise and Protein Supplementation Recommendations for Older Adults With Sarcopenic Obesity: A Meta-Review

Allison T. Contillo, Nancy R. Rodriguez, and Linda S. Pescatello

This systematic meta-review evaluated the effects of exercise with and without protein interventions on muscle strength and function in older adults with sarcopenic obesity. PubMed, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Scopus, and SPORTDiscus databases were searched through February 2021 for relevant systematic reviews and meta-analyses with aerobic, resistance, and/or combined training interventions with and without protein supplementation in older adults ≥ 65 years with sarcopenic obesity. This meta-review showed that exercise with and without protein supplementation improved body composition (i.e., decreased percentage body fat) and functional outcomes (i.e., gait speed and grip strength). Because the current literature is limited, determining the effects of exercise and combined protein supplementation in this population requires further investigation. In the meantime, protein recommendations should align with general sarcopenia recommendations. Based upon available findings, tentative exercise recommendations to optimize health outcomes in this population are proposed.