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Exercise Intensity Among Older Adults Participating From Home in Remotely Delivered EnhanceFitness

Nancy M. Gell, Yang Bai, Melanie Herbert, Elise V. Hoffman, Rebecca Reynolds, Myeongjin Bae, Kim Dittus, Elizabeth A. Phelan, and Kushang V. Patel

We aimed to examine exercise intensity among older adults participating from home in remotely delivered EnhanceFitness (Tele-EF). Exercise intensity was assessed through Fitbit-measured heart rate and the Borg 10-point rating of perceived exertion over 1 week of a 16-week exercise program. Outcomes included mean minutes spent at or above the heart rate reserve calculated threshold for moderate intensity and mean rating of perceived exertion. Pearson and Spearman rank correlations were used to examine associations between baseline characteristics with exercise intensity. During the 60-min classes, the 55 participants achieved moderate intensity for a mean of 21.0 min (SD = 13.5) and had a mean rating of perceived exertion of 4.9 (SD = 1.2). There were no significant associations between baseline characteristics and exercise intensity. Older adults can achieve sustained moderate-intensity exercise during Tele-EF supervised classes. Baseline physical function, physical activity, and other health characteristics did not limit ability to exercise at a moderate intensity, though further investigation is warranted.

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Exercise and Health Anxiety in Older Women: Exploring the Mediating Role of Anxiety Sensitivity

Kyoungsil Nah and Janine V. Olthuis

Research shows that health anxiety significantly affects older adults’ health and quality of life. Although exercise may be associated with lower health anxiety, research on older adults is limited, and the mechanism remains unknown. This study examined the association between exercise and health anxiety in older women and the mediating role of anxiety sensitivity in this association. Participants were 166 women aged 65+ years, without health problems that prevented them from exercising. Participants were recruited via Facebook advertisements. They completed an online self-report questionnaire including measures of health anxiety, physical activity, and anxiety sensitivity. The SPSS PROCESS macro was used to examine the association between exercise and health anxiety, and the role of anxiety sensitivity as a mediator. Results indicated that greater participation in exercise was associated with lower health anxiety, and anxiety sensitivity mediated the association. Findings suggest that exercise-based interventions might prevent health anxiety in older adults.

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Determination of a Low Skeletal Muscle Mass Index Using the Mass of the Gluteus Medius in Older Patients With Hip Fractures

Ryo Shiraishi, Keisuke Sato, Nami Shiraishi, Sadao Yoshida, Takahiro Ogawa, and Masaki Suenaga

This study evaluated the relationship between the muscle mass of the gluteus medius (GM) and skeletal muscle mass index (SMI) measured in patients with hip fractures. In this study, 141 patients with hip fractures were divided into those with high or low SMI. The GM index (GMI) was calculated by dividing the GM by the square of the height in meters. The correlation between GMI and SMI was subsequently analyzed, and cutoff values for determining the loss of skeletal muscle mass were calculated using the receiver operating characteristic curve. GMI and SMI showed a positive correlation for both sexes (male: r = .890, female: r = .626, p < .001). The GMI cutoff values were 19.460 cm2/m2 for males and 17.850 cm2/m2 for females. Skeletal muscle mass evaluation of the GM could contribute to hip fracture recovery by improving mobility and facilitating the early diagnosis of loss of SMM.

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Reduced Cross-Sectional Area of the Gluteus Medius Muscle is Associated With Decreased Activities of Daily Living in Older Adult Patients With Hip Fractures

Ryo Shiraishi, Keisuke Sato, Nobumasa Chijiiwa, Sadao Yoshida, and Takahiro Ogawa

We investigated the association between the cross-sectional area (CSA) of the gluteus medius muscle (GMM) and activities of daily living in patients with hip fractures. This retrospective cohort study comprised 111 patients aged ≥65 years who underwent hip fracture rehabilitation. The CSA of the GMM was measured using computed tomography scans in the early stages of hospitalization. The group with decreased CSA of the GMM had a median GMI ≤17 cm2/m2 for male patients and ≤16 cm2/m2 for female patients. Patients in the group with decreased CSA of the GMM had lower functional independence measure gains than those in the control group. After adjusting for confounders, we found that decreased CSA of the GMM was significantly associated with lower functional independence measure gains (β: −0.432, p < .001). In patients with hip fractures, decreased CSA of the GMM was associated with decreased activities of daily living.

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Differences in Habitual and Maximal Gait Velocity Across Age Groups: A Cross-Sectional Examination

Sally Paulson, Joshua L. Gills, Anthony Campitelli, Megan D. Jones, Joohee I. Sanders, Jordan M. Glenn, Erica N. Madero, Jennifer L. Vincenzo, Christopher S. Walter, and Michelle Gray

Prior work, primarily focusing on habitual gait velocity, has demonstrated a cost while walking when coupled with a cognitive task. The cost of dual-task walking is exacerbated with age and complexity of the cognitive or motor task. However, few studies have examined the dual-task cost associated with maximal gait velocity. Thus, this cross-sectional study examined age-related changes in dual-task (serial subtraction) walking at two velocities. Participants were classified by age: young-old (45–64 years), middle-old (65–79 years), and oldest-old (≥80 years). They completed single- and dual-task walking trials for each velocity: habitual (N = 217) and maximal (N = 194). While no significant Group × Condition interactions existed for habitual or maximal gait velocities, the main effects for both condition and age groups were significant (p < .01). Maximal dual-task cost (p = .01) was significantly greater in the oldest-old group. With age, both dual-task velocities decreased. Maximal dual-task cost was greatest for the oldest-old group.

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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.