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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.

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Association of Physical Activity With Cognitive Function Among Older Adults in Rural Sichuan, China

Julinling Hu, Yixun Chen, Nanyan Li, Yufei Wang, Yuliang Zha, and Junmin Zhou

The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between total physical activity and different dimensions of cognitive function (orientation, attention, and memory) among older adults in rural Sichuan, China. This cross-sectional study involved 715 older adults (average age of 72 years). Total PA was measured by the Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly, and cognitive function was assessed by the Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status (TICS) questionnaire. The multivariate linear regression analysis indicated that total PA and household PA were significantly associated with the overall Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status score (β = 0.143, p < .001; β = 0.115, p = .002, respectively), the orientation dimension (β = 0.142, p < .001; β = 0.131, p = .001, respectively), and the memory dimension (β = 0.179, p < .001; β = 0.134, p = .001, respectively). The study showed a positive association between total PA, household PA, and cognitive function in older adults, especially in the orientation dimension and the memory dimension of cognitive function.

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Randomized Controlled Trial of Social Ballroom Dancing and Treadmill Walking: Preliminary Findings on Executive Function and Neuroplasticity From Dementia-at-Risk Older Adults

Helena M. Blumen, Emmeline Ayers, Cuiling Wang, Anne F. Ambrose, Oshadi Jayakody, and Joe Verghese

This randomized controlled trial (NCT03475316) examined the relative efficacy of 6 months of social ballroom dancing and treadmill walking on a composite executive function score, generated from digit symbol substitution test, flanker interference, and walking while talking tasks. Brain activation during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) versions of these executive function tasks were secondary outcomes. Twenty-five dementia-at-risk older adults (memory impairment screen score of ≥3 to ≤6 and/or an Alzheimer’s disease-8 Dementia Screening Interview of ≥1) were randomized in June 2019 to March 2020—16 completed the intervention before study termination due to the COVID-19 (eight in each group). Composite executive function scores improved post-intervention in both groups, but there was no evidence for between-group differences. Social dancing, however, generated greater improvements on digit symbol substitution test than treadmill walking. No intervention-related differences were observed in brain activation—although less hippocampal atrophy (tertiary) was observed following social dancing than treadmill walking. These preliminary findings are promising but need to be confirmed in future large-scale and sufficiently powered randomized controlled trials.

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Strategies for Long-Term Maintenance of Physical Activity Among Older Adults: A Qualitative Study From India

Noopur Singh, Esther Sulkers, Hylke W. Van Dijk, Robbert Sanderman, and Adelita V. Ranchor

Long-term physical activity (PA) maintenance is challenging for older adults. Equipping older adults with strategies to support long-term PA maintenance can be an effective way to tackle this problem. Moreover, there is a lack of studies regarding long-term PA maintenance among older adults from non-Western settings. This qualitative research is one of the first studies conducted in an Indian context that explores the strategies developed and utilized by older adults who have successfully maintained their PA for the long term (>1 year) in their home settings. In-depth semistructured interviews were conducted with 19 older adults, and data were analyzed using an inductive reflexive thematic analysis approach. This article reports five strategies of PA maintenance, together comprising 13 substrategies. This study highlights the importance of using strategies to support the long-term maintenance of PA among older adults in India. However, these strategies would also be useful in other sociocultural contexts.

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Effects of a Multicomponent Exercise and Therapeutic Lifestyle (CERgAS) Intervention on Gait Function in Lower-Income Urban-Dwelling Older Adults: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial

Debbie Ann Loh, Noran Naqiah Hairi, Farizah Mohd Hairi, Devi Peramalah, Shathanapriya Kandiben, Mohd Alif Idham Abd Hamid, Awang Bulgiba, Mushtahid Salam, Mas Ayu Said, Hussein Rizal, Mahmoud Danaee, and Wan Yuen Choo

This study aims to determine the effectiveness of a multicomponent exercise and therapeutic lifestyle (CERgAS) intervention at improving gait speed among older people in an urban poor setting in Malaysia. A total of 249 participants were divided into the intervention (n = 163) and control (n = 86) groups. The mean (SD) age of participants was 67.83 (6.37) and consisted of 88 (35.3%) males and 161 (64.7%) females. A generalized estimating equation with an intention-to-treat analysis was used to measure gait speed at four time points, baseline (T0), 6 weeks (T1), 3 months postintervention (T2), and 6 months postintervention (T3). The results showed significant changes for time between T0 and T3 (mean difference = 0.0882, p = .001), whereas no significant association were found for group (p = .650) and interaction (p = .348) effects. A 6-week intervention is inadequate to improve gait speed. Future efforts should introduce physical activity monitoring and increase exercise duration, frequency, and intensity.

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Volume 30 (2022): Issue 6 (Dec 2022)

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The Effect of Physical Activity on Body Constitution and Psychological Health in Older Adults: Evidence From an Analysis of a Biobank Research Database

Ping-Ho Chen, Su-Chen Fang, Szu-Ying Lee, Wan-Ling Lin, Shu-Feng Tsai, and Sheng-Miauh Huang

This study aims to describe the relationship between physical activity, suboptimal health status based on traditional Chinese medicine, and psychological health in older people in Taiwan. A total of 4,497 older individuals were selected from the Taiwan Biobank Research Database. Suboptimal health status was assessed using a body constitution questionnaire to measure yang deficiency, yin deficiency, and stasis. The results showed that older adults involved in physical activity had a lower likelihood of yang/yin deficiency and stasis constitutions than physically inactive people. Participants with yang deficiency or stasis constitutions had a higher likelihood of poor psychological health, whereas those with yin deficiency had a greater likelihood of depression. People involved in physical activity had a lower likelihood of depression than physically inactive people. Compared with male older adults, females had a lower percentage of physical activity habits, poorer body constitutions, and poorer psychological health.

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Psychometric Properties of the Turkish Adaptation of the Yale Physical Activity Survey

Erhan Seçer, İlknur Naz, Hilal Uzunlar, Gülşah Çallioğlu, Yusuf Emük, Melda Başer Seçer, and Hasan Öztin

This study aimed to examine the convergent validity and test–retest reliability of the Turkish version of the Yale Physical Activity Survey (YPAS-TR). Eighty-one volunteer older adults were included in the study. Test–retest reliability was evaluated using the intraclass correlation coefficient. Correlation coefficients between YPAS-TR and Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly (PASE), Short Form-36, and Short Physical Performance Battery were examined for convergent validity. Acceptable intraclass correlation coefficient values were reached for YPAS-TR energy expenditure, total physical activity time and summary, vigorous, leisurely walking, moving, standing, and sitting indices (intraclass correlation coefficient = .96–.99). There was a moderate correlation between energy expenditure and total physical activity time with PASE (leisure time activities), PASE (household activities), and PASE (total) (r = .478, r = .468, r = .570, r = .406, r = .490, r = .550, respectively, p < .001). Also, a weak correlation was found between summary and leisurely walking index with PASE (household activities), standing index with PASE (leisure time activities), and PASE (total) (r = .285, p = .010; r = .257, p = .021; r = .238, p = .033; r = .283, p = .010; respectively). The results of the study suggest that the YPAS-TR is a valid and reliable measurement tool that can be used to assess the physical activity patterns of Turkish older adults.

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Weight Loss and Exercise Effects on Rate of Torque Development and Physical Function in Overweight Older Women

Ewan R. Williams, Chad R. Straight, Hannah K. Wilson, Robert C. Lynall, Chris M. Gregory, and Ellen M. Evans

Exercise training (EX) and weight loss (WL) improve lower extremity physical function (LEPF) in older overweight women; however, effects on rate of torque development (RTD) are unknown. This study aimed to determine the effects of WL + EX or WL alone on RTD, and relatedly LEPF, in overweight older women. Leg strength was assessed using isokinetic dynamometry, and RTD was calculated (RTD200 = RTD at 200 ms, RTDPeak = peak RTD, T2P = time to 1st peak). LEPF was determined via clinical functional tasks. Women (n = 44, 69.1 ± 3.6 years, 30.6 ± 4.3 kg/m2) completed a 6-month trial in EX + WL or WL groups with similar weight loss (−9.8 ± 4.2%, p > .95). EX + WL had greater improvements in (a) most LEPF tasks (p < .001) and (b) RTD200, compared with WL (36% vs. −16%, p = .031); no other RTD parameters differed. Changes in RTD parameters and LEPF were not related (all p > .05). RTD is responsive to EX but is not associated with LEPF in older women.

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Longitudinal and Cross-Sectional Association Between Gait Speed, Ankle Proprioception, and LE Numbness—Results From the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging

Seung-uk Ko, Eleanor M. Simonsick, Gerald J. Jerome, Elango Palchamy, and Luigi Ferrucci

Mobility declines in older adults can be determined through monitoring longitudinal changes in gait speed. We examined longitudinal changes [in] ankle proprioception among those with and without baseline lower extremity numbness to develop a better understanding of mobility declines in healthy older adults. Participants included 568 adults (52.8% women) aged 60–98 years from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. Larger ankle proprioception decreases during plantar flexion were found in the participants with lower extremity numbness compared with those without numbness (p = .034). Among participants with lower extremity numbness, slower baseline speeds from both usual and fast pace gait were associated with performance decline in ankle proprioception measured during ankle dorsiflexion (p = .039 and p = .004, respectively). Assisting older adults, especially those with lower extremity numbness, to maintain and improve ankle proprioception may help prevent mobility declines that have previously been considered age related.