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Association Between Moderate Physical Activity Level and Subsequent Frailty Incidence Among Community-Dwelling Older Adults: A Population-Based Cohort Study

Wenjing Zhao, Shigekazu Ukawa, Sachiko Sasaki, Emiko Okada, Tomoko Kishi, Kastunori Kondo, and Akiko Tamakoshi

Our study aimed to demonstrate the association between physical activity (PA) and frailty incidence among Japanese community-dwelling older adults with a narrow age range of 70–74 years. This study included 485 participants from the Japan Gerontological Evaluation Study. Frailty was assessed at baseline and 3 years later by using the Kaigo-Yobo Checklist. PA was assessed using the short-term International PA Questionnaire at baseline. Logistic regression was performed to calculate the odds ratio with 95% confidence intervals after adjusting for potential confounders. The associations of frailty scores with both PA volume and daily walking time presented a U-shaped curve, albeit only the latter was statistically significant. After adjusting for potential confounders, walking for 0.5–1 hr/day displayed a greater association with decreased frailty risk than higher levels of daily walking time. Further study is needed to cumulate the evidence that moderate PA levels may delay frailty incidence and improve the aging process.

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Dual-Task Interference of Gait Parameters During Different Conditions of the Timed Up-and-Go Test Performed by Community-Dwelling Older Adults

Anna Cristina Åberg, Liss Elin Larsson, Vilmantas Giedraitis, Lars Berglund, and Kjartan Halvorsen

The Timed Up-and-Go (TUG) test has been combined with different verbal/cognitive tasks (i.e., TUG dual task [TUGdt]) as a form of motor-cognitive testing. However, it is still unclear how different TUGdt conditions affect gait among older adults. Thirty community-dwelling older adults, with mean age of 73 years, participated in the study. Data were collected using marker-free video recordings. Gait parameters were extracted using a semiautomatic deep learning system. Comparisons of execution time and gait parameter outcomes were made under TUG and three types of TUGdt test conditions: TUGdt-naming animals, TUGdt-months backwards, and TUGdt-serial 7s. Statistical analyses were based on mean values of the gait parameters for each participant and TUG condition, including TUGdt gait cost, that is, the relative difference between TUGdt and TUG. All the investigated TUGdt conditions resulted in varying degrees of gait parameter changes. Under TUGdt conditions, participants took shorter and slower steps, with TUGdt-serial 7s causing the largest interference.

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Volume 31 (2023): Issue 2 (Apr 2023)

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Dimensions of Physical Activity Are Important in Managing Anxiety in Older Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Esther Frema Ofosu, Len de Nys, Jenni Connelly, Gemma Cathrine Ryde, and Anna C. Whittaker

Physical activity (PA) is a known approach for managing anxiety symptoms in older adults. This systematic review and meta-analysis address the benefits of PA and its dimensions (frequency, session time, type, and intervention period) on anxiety symptoms in older adults aged 65 years and above. Searches covered eight databases reporting eight randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and five non-RCTs. Meta-analysis of RCTs (standardized mean difference = −0.41; 95% confidence interval [−0.58, −0.24]; p < .00001) and Fisher’s method of combining p values for non-RCTs supported the effectiveness of PA for managing anxiety symptoms in older adults. Subgroup analysis revealed significant effects for all PA types, session times, frequency, and intervention periods compared with control groups, albeit with different magnitudes of effect. In conclusion, although some dimensions of PA contribute to its effectiveness for anxiety, PA intensity and mode required to maximize PA effects remain unclear.

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Instructor Social Support in the Group Physical Activity Context: Older Participants’ Perspectives

Lindsay Morrison, Meghan H. McDonough, Chantelle Zimmer, Cari Din, Jennifer Hewson, Ann Toohey, Peter R.E. Crocker, and Erica V. Bennett

Instructors in organized physical activity classes can be a source of social support through their relationships with participants, influence on participants’ interactions with each other, and design of activities. Grounded in interpretive description, the objective of this study was to examine older adults’ experiences of and their perspectives on group physical activity instructors’ supportive behaviors. Observations of 16 group physical activity classes (N = 295) and focus groups or interviews with N = 38 class participants aged ≥ 55 (n = 29 women) were conducted at four municipal recreation facilities in a Canadian city. Five themes shed light on how instructors provided social support: (a) supporting autonomous engagement, (b) developing caring connections, (c) fostering trust through expert instruction, (d) managing conflict directly and effectively, and (e) creating a climate where people want to go. Instructor training should consider older adults’ social support needs and help instructors embody behaviors that support continued physical activity participation, thereby contributing to healthy aging.

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“Older, Faster, Stronger”: The Multiple Benefits of Masters Sport Participation

Sarah Deck, Alison Doherty, Craig Hall, Angela Schneider, Swarali Patil, and Glen Belfry

While masters sport aligns with the holistic concept of active aging, related research has focused predominantly on the physical domain, and less is known about the psychological, cognitive, and social benefits of older adults’ participation. This study examined, in combination, the perceived psychological, social, cognitive, and physical benefits of training and competing as a masters athlete, while considering age and gender differences. Forty masters athletes residing in Canada were interviewed (21 men and 19 women; 15 who were 50–64 years and 25 who were 65–79 years), representing 15 different sports. Interviews were coded both deductively and inductively, revealing several subthemes of benefits for the broader perceived psychological, social, cognitive, and physical benefits, with few but notable differences between women and men, and those younger than 65 years and those 65+ years. Our findings provide new insights into the positive experiences of active aging associated with high levels of physical activity among older adults, such as greater self-confidence, especially for women, comradery, and feeling mentally sharper, especially for the older age group.

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Efficacy of Dance Intervention for Improving Frailty Among Chinese Older Adults Living in the Community: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Xiaohong Zhang, Cees Peter van der Schans, Yanhui Liu, Wilhelmus Petrus Krijnen, and Johannes Simon Maria Hobbelen

Although dance interventions may have lots of advantages in improving frailty, there are few papers focusing on the effects such interventions have on frail older adults living in the community setting. This study investigates whether a dance intervention can improve the level of frailty among Chinese older adults living in the community setting. The dance intervention was done five times a week for 16 weeks. Participants in the control group maintained their normal daily activities. Assessments were conducted at baseline, 8 weeks, and 16 weeks. Mixed models were used to test for the effects on frailty, depression, short physical performance battery, and grip strength between the groups over time. The level of frailty (p < .05) and depression (p < .001) decreased, and short physical performance battery (p < .001) increased over time in the dance group compared with the control group. A dance intervention lasting 16 weeks showed improved frailty, depression, and physical performance among Chinese older adults living in the community setting.

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Navigating a New Normal: Perceptions and Experiences of an Online Exercise Program for Older Adults During COVID-19

Sarah C. Galway, Meghan H.D. Laird, Matthieu Dagenais, and Kimberley L. Gammage

Online exercise programming has surged in popularity; however, little is known about older adults’ perceptions and experiences of online exercise. The purpose of this study was to qualitatively examine older adults’ (aged 59–82 years) experiences and perceptions of an online exercise program during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nineteen individuals (individuals who used the online exercise program and those who did not) completed a semistructured interview. Three main themes were generated from the data using reflexive thematic analysis: (a) can online exercise really work for older adults? (b) technology attitudes and experiences influence online participation, and (c) barriers and advantages of the online exercise program and the home environment. Most participants who took part were able to overcome initial barriers through technical support and experience. Our findings highlight ways to promote advantages and address barriers of online exercise for older adults and emphasize the importance of fostering social experiences and training online exercise instructors.

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Association Between Domain-Specific Physical Activity and Chronic Low Back Pain in Community-Dwelling Older Adults: A Cross-Sectional Study

Michael Douglas da Silva Martins, Ítalo Ribeiro Lemes, Eleonora Esposito, Priscila Kalil Morelhão, Pedro Henrique Narciso, Márcia Rodrigues Franco, and Rafael Zambelli Pinto

To investigate the association between physical activity (PA) domains and chronic low back pain (LBP) in older adults. A cross-sectional study where sociodemographic, behavioral, and health variables; PA; and presence of chronic LBP were collected. Higher scores of PA defined the “more active” participants. Binary logistic regression was used to test the association between PA domains and chronic LBP. A total of 516 participants were included. The mean age was 71.8 (95% confidence interval, CI, [71.1, 72.5]) years, and 29%, 27%, 25%, and 31% were identified as “more active” in the household, sports, leisure-time, and total PA domains, respectively. “More active” participants in sports (odds ratio = 0.62, 95% CI [0.40, 0.97]), leisure-time (odds ratio = 0.54, 95% CI [0.35, 0.85]) and total (odds ratio = 0.60, 95% CI [0.39, 0.92]) PA domains were less likely to report chronic LBP. High levels of sports, leisure-time, and total PA were inversely associated with chronic LBP.

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Associations of Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior With Survival Time in Older Adults: Path Analysis

Lucas Lima Galvão, Rizia Rocha Silva, Sheilla Tribess, Joilson Meneguci, Jeffer Eidi Sasaki, Douglas de Assis Teles Santos, and Jair Sindra Virtuoso Júnior

This study investigated the direct and indirect associations of physical activity and sedentary behavior with survival time in older adults. Prospective population-based cohort study used exploratory survey-type methods and physical performance tests in 319 adults aged ≥60 years. Trajectory diagrams were used to represent the initial hypothetical and final models with the relationships of independent, mediating, and dependent variables. Physical activity was indirectly associated with survival time and was mediated by instrumental activities of daily living and functional performance. In contrast, instrumental activities of daily living, functional performance, the number of hospitalizations, and medications mediated the association between duration of sedentary behavior and survival time. The explanatory power of the final model was 19%. Future efforts should focus on increasing the participation and adherence of older adults to exercise programs to improve their physical functions and general health, which may increase their health period and, consequently, their survival time.