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Interaction Between Sarcopenic Obesity and Nonlocomotive Physical Activity on the Risk of Depressive Symptoms in Community-Dwelling Older Adult Japanese Women

Yu Osugi, Aiko Imai, Toshiyuki Kurihara, Keiko Kishigami, Kazuhiko Higashida, and Kiyoshi Sanada

This study aimed to investigate the interaction between sarcopenic obesity and locomotive and nonlocomotive physical activity (PA) on the risk of depressive symptoms in community-dwelling older Japanese women. Participants were 143 community-dwelling older women aged 64–94 years. PA was measured using a three-axis accelerometer. Participants were classified according to two levels of total, locomotive, and nonlocomotive PA. Depressive symptoms were assessed by a self-administered survey consisting of the 15-item Japanese version of the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS-15-J). The interaction between sarcopenic obesity groups and total or locomotive PA did not affect GDS-15-J scores. However, the interaction between sarcopenic obesity groups and nonlocomotive PA significantly affected GDS-15-J scores (p < .05). Moreover, sarcopenic obesity in the low PA group had significantly higher GDS-15-J scores compared with sarcopenic obesity in the high PA group (p < .05). We concluded that sarcopenic obesity combined with low nonlocomotive PA may exacerbate depressive symptoms in older women.

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Older Adults’ Self-Reported Physical Activity and Distance to and Land Use Around Reported Physical Exercise Destinations

Essi-Mari Tuomola, Kirsi E. Keskinen, Timo Hinrichs, Taina Rantanen, and Erja Portegijs

Little is known about older adults’ physical exercise destinations. We studied associations between physical activity (PA) level and physical exercise destinations (total number and surrounding environment) in community-dwelling 75- to 85-year-old adults living in Central Finland. Participants (N = 901) reported the amount of at least moderate-intensity PA and physical exercise destinations. Distance from home, land use, and locations of sport facilities were defined using a geographic information system. A general linear model showed that older adults with higher PA reported higher numbers of physical exercise destinations and destinations further away from home than those reporting lower PA. Binary logistic regression showed that higher PA increased the odds of reporting a distant destination identified as a sports facility and of reporting destinations located in residential, service, forest, and water body areas, respectively. Physical exercise destinations in different environments may attract older people to go out and be more physically active.

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The Prevalence and Association Between Social Support and Physical Activity Among the Rural Community-Dwelling Older Women in a Southeast Asian Country

Thaneswaran Marthammuthu, Farizah Mohd Hairi, Wan Yuen Choo, Nur Afiqah Mohd Salleh, and Noran Naqiah Hairi

While physical activity ensures healthy aging, rural community-dwelling older women tend to be more physically inactive compared with their counterparts in Malaysia. As social support is one of the key determinants of physical activity, this retrospective, cross-sectional study investigated the prevalence of physical activity and its association with social support among 1,221 rural community-dwelling older women in Kuala Pilah, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia. The prevalence of physical activity among older women was 45.1% with the highest prevalence reported for housework domain (52.3%). The total mean Duke Social Support index score was 27.24 ± 3.40. Multivariate analysis reported age, employment status, and income level to demonstrate significant association with the physical activity after adjusting for confounders. Older women with an increase in social interaction score were more likely (odds ratio = 1.22; 95% confidence interval [1.10, 1.34]; p < .001) to have high physical activity when adjusted for sociodemographic, health, mental health, and physical disability. Contrarily, older women with an increase in one subjective social support score were less likely (odds ratio = 0.91; 95% confidence interval [0.87, 0.96]; p < .001) to have high physical activity when adjusted for confounders. The findings were insightful to tailor interventions on promoting social support for physical activity enhancement among older women.

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Experiences of Older Adults With Mild Balance Dysfunction Who Participated in a Supervised Seniors Exercise Park Program Progressing to Independent Practice

Yoke Leng Ng, Keith D. Hill, and Elissa Burton

Older adults with mild balance dysfunction can benefit from early intervention. This research explored the experiences of older adults with mild balance dysfunction participating in an 18-week supervised outdoors Seniors Exercise Park program and 6 weeks of unsupervised independent practice. Factors influencing attendance and independent practice were also explored. Semistructured face-to-face interviews were conducted with 24 participants (mean age = 77.4 years, SD = 5.4) and 22 participants (mean age = 77.5 years, SD = 5.6) after 18 and 24 weeks, respectively. The data were analyzed using reflexive thematic analysis. Many participants perceived improvements in health and responded positively to the supervised Seniors Exercise Park program. Factors supporting attendance included building social connections and positive instructor personality. Barriers to training included competing time demands and poor health. These insights suggest that a group-based Seniors Exercise Park supervised program was well accepted and can be an option to improve the health of older adults with mild balance dysfunction.

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Sex-Related Differences in Functional Fitness Outcomes in Older Adults

Michael J. Marsala, Shannon Belfry, Joseph B. Orange, and Anita D. Christie

Sex-related differences in changes in functional fitness over time were longitudinally assessed in older adults participating in a group-based multimodal exercise program. From a database, functional fitness scores were obtained for 89 older adults (71.6 ± 6.5 years old) who had completed two assessments, 5–8 years apart. Lower body strength, upper body strength, aerobic endurance, flexibility, and change of direction performances were compared over time and with normative values. Females (p = .02), but not males, had an improvement in upper body strength over time. Females were also more flexible than males at both assessments (p ≤ .02). Of those who had five consecutive assessments, females were more flexible than males (p ≤ .05) and had a faster change of direction ability (p < .001). When compared with normative values, our results indicate that typical time-related functional fitness loss can be attenuated with group exercise. Our results further support the need to tailor exercise prescription according to the individual.

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Effects of Home-Based Exercise Programs on Mobility, Muscle Strength, Balance, and Gait in Community-Dwelling Older Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Sabrine Nayara Costa, Luis Henrique Boiko Ferreira, and Paulo C. B. Bento

Objective: Individual unsupervised home-based exercise programs can enhance muscle strength, physical function, gait, and balance in older adults. However, the effectiveness of such programs may be limited by the lack of supervision. This study aims to verify the effectiveness of individual unsupervised home-based programs, compare the effects of individual unsupervised home-based to supervised programs, and verify the influence of supervision over individual unsupervised home-based programs on the physical function of older adults. Methods: A systematic literature search was performed in four electronic databases, and the trials involved randomized controlled comparing the home-based programs to supervised, control groups, or home-based + supervised evaluating the muscle strength, physical function, gait, and balance in older adults. Results: Eleven studies met the inclusion criteria. The meta-analysis revealed no differences between home-based program versus supervised program in gait, mobility, and balance, revealing a trend of significance to supervised program on strength (standardized mean difference [SMD] = 0.27, p = .05). The analysis revealed effects in mobility (SMD = 0.40, p = .003), balance (SMD = 0.58, p = .0002), and muscle strength (SMD = 0.36, p = .02) favoring home-based program versus control group. Significant effects between home-based program versus home-based + supervised program were observed in balance (SMD = 0.74, p = .002) and muscle strength (SMD = 0.58, p = .01) in favor of home-based + supervised program. Conclusion: Home-based programs effectively improve older adults’ physical function compared with control groups. However, supervised programs were more effective for muscle strength.

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The Experience of Participating in Remotely Delivered Online Exercise Classes During the COVID-19 Pandemic Among Community-Dwelling Older Adults and Its Postpandemic Implications

Janet Lok Chun Lee, Vivian Wei Qun Lou, and Rick Yiu Cho Kwan

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the use of videoconferencing-delivered online exercise classes among community-dwelling older adults. This phenomenon is new, and no research has investigated older adults’ relevant experiences and postpandemic perspectives. This study is situated in a naturalistic paradigm and adopted a descriptive qualitative methodology to understand the phenomenon. In-depth interviews were conducted with 23 older adults (aged 55–89 years) who have participated in videoconferencing-delivered online exercise since the COVID-19 pandemic. Utilizing thematic analysis, eight key themes were identified. Older adults experienced convenience, exercise regularity, technological transformation, and motivation when using this new form of exercise delivery. At the same time, they also experienced certain technological barriers and compromised quality of instructor supervision. Looking forward, older adults welcomed the increased opportunity for supervised exercise due to increased virtual capacity. They also envisaged that mobility-restricted groups such as frail older adults and caregivers would benefit from this form of exercise delivery.

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The Assessment of Acute Chorioretinal Changes Due to Intensive Physical Exercise in Senior Elite Athletes

Irén Szalai, Anita Csorba, Tian Jing, Endre Horváth, Edit Bosnyák, István Györe, Zoltán Zsolt Nagy, Delia Cabrera DeBuc, Miklós Tóth, and Gábor Márk Somfai

Regular physical exercise is known to lower the incidence of age-related eye diseases. We aimed to assess the acute chorioretinal alterations in older adults following intense physical strain. Seventeen senior elite athletes were recruited who underwent an aerobic exercise on a cycle ergometer and macular scanning by optical coherence tomography. A significant thinning of the entire retina was observed 1 min after exercise, followed by a thickening at 5 min, after which the thickness returned to baseline. This trend was similar in almost every single retinal layer, although a significant change was observed only in the inner retina. Choroidal thickness changes were neither significant nor did they correlate with the thickness changes of intraretinal layers. The mechanism of how these immediate retinal changes chronically impact age-related sight-threatening pathologies that, in turn, result in a substantially reduced quality of life warrants further investigation on nontrained older adults as well.

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Exogenous Caffeine Ingestion Does Not Increase Plantarflexor Torque in Older or Younger Men

Lucas Ugliara, Martim Bottaro, Sávio Alex, James J. Tufano, Anthony J. Blazevich, Valdinar Junior, and Amilton Vieira

Aging is associated with neurodegeneration and a loss of muscle function, especially in lower-limb muscles. While caffeine may augment muscle force generation through multiple effects on the central nervous system, no studies have yet compared the effects of caffeine on force-generating capacity between younger and older men, who might respond differently due to age-related changes in the structures on which caffeine acts. In a double-blind, controlled trial, 22 younger (25 ± 5 years) and 21 older (68 ± 6 years) men were tested for isometric plantarflexor torque on two separate days (2–7 days apart) before and 60 min after ingesting 3 mg/kg (∼2 cups of coffee) of caffeine or placebo. No effects of caffeine ingestion on peak torque or rate of torque development were detected in either older or younger men. Therefore, 3 mg/kg of caffeine may not acutely counteract age-related decreases in force capacity of the functionally important plantarflexor muscles.

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iPhone Accelerometry Provides a Sensitive In-Home Assessment of Age-Related Changes in Standing Balance

Elizabeth Coker and Anat V. Lubetzky

Remote health monitoring has become increasingly important, especially in aging populations. We aimed to identify tasks that are sensitive to age-related changes in balance during fully remote, at-home balance assessment. Participants were 12 healthy young adults (mean age = 26.08 years, range: 18–33) and 12 healthy older adults (mean age = 67.33 years, range: 60–75). Participants performed standing tasks monitored via video conference while their balance was quantified using a custom iPhone application measuring mediolateral center of mass acceleration. We included three stances (feet together, tandem, and single leg) with eyes open or closed, with or without a concurrent cognitive task. Older adults demonstrated significantly more variable center of mass accelerations in tandem (p = .04, η p 2 = .25 ) and significantly higher (p < .01, η p 2 = .45 ) and more variable (p < .01, η p 2 = .44 ) center of mass accelerations in single leg compared with young adults. We also observed that as task challenge increased, balance dual-task cost diminished for older, but not young, adults.