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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.

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“To Be Moving Is to Be Alive”: A Walk-Along Study Describing Older Public Housing Tenants’ Perceptions of Physical Activity

Kadia Saint-Onge, Paquito Bernard, Célia Kingsbury, and Janie Houle

Few studies have focused on older public housing tenants’ perceptions of physical activity. Greater understanding of how they define, appreciate, and engage in physical activity could lead to better targeted promotion and reduced health inequalities for this subgroup of the population. We conducted 26 walk-along interviews with older public housing tenants in Montreal (Canada). Tenants were aged 60–93 years and lived in either one of three study sites including a commercial, a residential, and a mixed land-use area. Physical activity was described as a multidimensional construct through six interdependent dimensions: physiological, emotional, interpersonal, occupational, intellectual, and existential. Participants perceived physical activity as having potential for both well-being and ill-being. Perceptions of physical activity were a function of age, physical capacity, gender, culture, revenue, and relation to community. These results support using a life-course perspective and a broader definition in promoting physical activity to older public housing tenants.

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Reflections on 30 Years of Service to the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity Editorial Board

Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko

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Breaking-Up Sedentary Behavior and Detraining Effects on Glycemic Control: A Randomized Crossover Trial in Trained Older Adults

Inês R. Correia, João P. Magalhães, Pedro B. Júdice, Megan Hetherington-Rauth, Sofia P. Freitas, Júlia M. Lopes, Francisco F. Gama, and Luís B. Sardinha

In a randomized crossover trial, we examined the effects of interrupting sedentary behavior on glycemic control in trained older adults, before and after 2 weeks of detraining. Fourteen participants (65–90 years old) completed two 7-hr conditions before and after 2 weeks of detraining: (a) uninterrupted sitting (SIT) and (b) sitting plus 2 min of moderate-intensity activity every 30 min (INT). Both before and after detraining, no differences were observed for 7-hr glucose area under the curve (7 hr AUC) and mean glucose between sitting plus 2 min of moderate-intensity activity and uninterrupted sitting conditions. After detraining and for the SIT condition, higher values of 7-hr AUC (p = .014) and mean glucose (p = .015) were observed, indicating worsened glycemic control. No changes were observed in INT condition between both time points. Frequent interruptions in sedentary behavior had no effect on glycemic control, prior to or after detraining. Even so, older adults experiencing a short-term detraining period should avoid prolonged bouts of sedentary behavior that may jeopardize their glycemic control.

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Exploring Determinants of Exercise-Related Affective Valence in Regular Exercisers Between the Ages of 55 and 69 Years

Jessica Smith-Ricketts, Cory T. Beaumont, Jessica K. Fleming, Lyndsey M. Hornbuckle, and Kelley Strohacker

This study aimed to understand determinants of recalled in-task affective valence experienced during a regularly performed aerobic bout in adult exercisers aged 55+. Qualitative data were collected (January to March, 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic) using interviews wherein individuals (N = 16, 69% women, 61 ± 5 years) recalled deviations in affective valence in response to a regularly completed bout. Using thematic analyses, two themes emerged regarding how COVID-19 impacted regular exercise behaviors: (a) “loss” and (b) “adaptation.” Two themes encompassed the determinants of recalled in-task affective valence: (a) “person-specific conditions” and (b) “external conditions.” Finally, an increase in duration/intensity during a pleasant session was indicated by 44% of the participants, while 75% indicated a decrease in duration/intensity during an unpleasant session. The participants indicated that affective valence was determined by previously cited and novel factors that relate to exercise performed in naturalistic environments. Volitional modifications to planned exercise volume appear more responsive to feelings of displeasure.

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Factors Associated With Participation in Physical Leisure Activities in Taiwanese Community-Dwelling Older Adults

Szu-Wei Chen, Tracy Chippendale, and Sharon L. Weinberg

This study was to identify factors at the intrapersonal, interpersonal, and community levels that relate to physical leisure participation in Taiwanese community-dwelling older adults and to examine their relative importance. We used a cross-sectional study with purposive sampling (N = 160). Physical leisure participation was quantified as the variety, frequency, and duration of participation. Data were analyzed using a series of hierarchical multiple linear regressions. The results showed that higher variety, frequency, or duration of physical leisure participation was associated with older males and with those who reported having better health, fewer depressive symptoms, and greater social support. Intrapersonal- and interpersonal-level factors play a relatively more important role in predicting physical leisure participation than factors at the community level. Understanding factors that relate to these three levels of participation has the potential to inform interventions that are tailored to individual profiles.

Open access

Effectiveness and Benefits of Exercise on Older People Living With Mental Illness’ Physical and Psychological Outcomes in Regional Australia: A Mixed-Methods Study

Gabrielle McNamara, Caroline Robertson, Tegan Hartmann, and Rachel Rossiter

Regular exercise is reported to improve depressive symptoms and quality of life for people experiencing mental illness. For older adults, including strength and balance can also decrease falls. Mental health services seldom include funding for Accredited Exercise Physiologist programs. A 9-week Accredited Exercise Physiologist-led program for older adults receiving mental health treatment with a community Older People’s Mental Health Service was trialed in regional Australia. This clinician-conceived small-scale feasibility study utilized a two-phase concurrent triangulation mixed-method design to evaluate physical and psychological program outcomes and identify factors related to engaging in physical activity. This tailored exercise program led to improvements in measures of psychological distress and physical and psychological function. These changes corresponded with participants identifying benefits of exercising as a group of adults living with mental illness. Such findings suggest a supervised, individualized program for older mental health consumers confers physical and psychological benefits; however, further research evaluating exercise interventions with this population is required.

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The Role of Daily Step Count in Determining Risk Factors for Falls

Oshadi Jayakody, Aishwarya Kirubasankar, Taya Collyer, Velandai K. Srikanth, and Michele L. Callisaya

Falls risk is often assessed without considering exposure to risk. We examined the risk factors associated with falls in those with greater and lower levels of daily step count. Falls were recorded over 12 months using bimonthly calendars in community-dwelling older people (mean age 72.0, SD 6.9). Daily step count was measured using a pedometer worn consecutively for 7 days. A cut score of <5,575.5 steps/day was used to identify people with lower step count. Negative binominal models were used to identify cognitive, medical, and sensorimotor factors associated with falls in those with higher versus lower levels of daily step count. In those with lower daily step count, poorer executive function, slower gait speed, and lower steps per day were associated with increased falls risk. In those with higher step count, only mood was associated with increased falls risk. Considering daily step count is important when assessing falls risk in older people.

Open access

Physical Activity Level of Physically Independent Older Adults in a Densely Populated City

Linda Yin-king Lee, Rebecca Cho-kwan Pang, and Mimi Mei-ha Tiu

The aim of this study was to estimate older adults’ physical activity level in all types and categories of physical activities and calculate their total physical activity level. This cross-sectional descriptive study estimated the physical activity level of older adults on a quota sample of 500 physically independent older adults living in a densely populated city (in this case, Hong Kong). It used the Physical Activity Questionnaire (Hong Kong version) to assess participants’ physical activity level. Based on the frequency, duration, and intensity of each type of physical activity being performed by the participants, their physical activity level in terms of energy expenditure (in kilocalories per day) for all types and categories of physical activities and the total physical activity level were calculated. Independent t test or analysis of variance, whatever appropriate, was used to examine the difference in the total physical activity level between participants with different individual characteristics. Linear regression analysis was conducted to determine the contribution of individual characteristics to the total physical activity level (p < .05). Results indicated that the participants mostly engaged in leisurely sitting, watching television, listening to radio, and leisurely walking. They spent the greatest amount of energy on the category of “leisure activity” (710.77 kcal/day). Their total physical activity level was 1,727.09 kcal/day, which was much less than previously reported. Linear regression indicates that age accounted for 3.1% of the variance of the total physical activity level (p = .001) with senior older adults warranting additional support. Future research is suggested to confirm the role of specific neighborhood-level factors on the physical activity performance of older adults.