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“I Hear the Music and My Spirits Lift!” Pleasure and Ballroom Dancing for Community-Dwelling Older Adults

Sarah R. Chipperfield and Paul Bissell

Physical activity for older adults is recommended to encourage the maintenance of functional autonomy and improve mental health. Ballroom dancing involves aerobic, strength, and balance work and is an inherently a social activity. This 12-month qualitative study considered the influence of ballroom dancing on health and well-being in community-dwelling older adults. It explores an underreported aspect of physical activity, which may incentivize older people to participate, that is, pleasure. Qualitative data were managed and analyzed using the Framework Analysis approach. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 26 older adult ballroom dancers. Five typologies of pleasure were identified. In addition to “sensual pleasure,” “pleasure of habitual action,” and “pleasure of immersion,” as suggested by Phoenix and Orr, the “pleasure of practice” and “pleasure of community” were also identified. Ballroom dancing produces a strong sense of embodied pleasure for older adults and should be promoted by health and exercise professionals for community-dwelling older adults.

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Virtual Special Issue: Tai Chi

Samuel R. Nyman

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Physical Activity in People With Dementia Living in Long-Term Care Facilities and the Connection With Environmental Factors and Behavior

Suzanne Portegijs, Sandra van Beek, Lilian H.D. van Tuyl, and Cordula Wagner

This study is conducted in order to gain a better understanding of the relationship between physical activity and agitated behavior among older people with dementia, and physical activity and characteristics of long-term care wards. Data were collected among people with dementia living in long-term care facilities (N = 76) by conducting observations at the wards and distributing questionnaires among professional caregivers. The results show that participants are largely inactive (82.8%) and a significant relation was found between the degree of physical activity and characteristics of the ward such as “taking sufficient time,” which relates to the time caregivers take when interacting with residents. This study supports the existing knowledge about the degree of physical activity among people with dementia in long-term care and adds information about the potential influence of organizational factors that could be valuable for daily practice.

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Using a Service Ontology to Understand What Influences Older Adults’ Outdoor Physical Activities in Nanjing

Yashi Li, Lu Liu, Yiran Diao, and Hua Dong

Older adults are not actively participating in outdoor physical activities. An understanding of what factors influence older adults’ outdoor physical activities is important for informing interventions. This study aims to examine the potential effect of service ontology on the intention of outdoor physical activities in older adults. Face-to-face surveys were conducted with 421 older adults from eight districts in Nanjing, China. One-way analysis of variance and ordinal logistic regression analysis revealed that seven of the 20 factors have a positive effect on intention of outdoor physical activities, including gender, health self-assessment, family structure, accessibility, exercise instructors, emergency service, and staff in outdoor space. To further improve the intention of outdoor physical activities, governments and service designers should focus on providing age-friendly community infrastructures. Moreover, specific attention should be paid toward older females and people with low-income/poor health conditions, and strategies should also be adopted to significantly improve the quantity and instruction efficiency of exercise instructors.

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Associations of Accelerometer-Measured Physical Activity and Sedentary Time With All-Cause Mortality by Genetic Predisposition for Longevity

Alexander Ivan B. Posis, John Bellettiere, Rany M. Salem, Michael J. LaMonte, JoAnn E. Manson, Ramon Casanova, Andrea Z. LaCroix, and Aladdin H. Shadyab

The goal of this study was to examine associations between accelerometer-measured physical activity (PA) and sedentary time (ST) with mortality by a genetic risk score (GRS) for longevity. Among 5,446 women, (mean [SD]: age, 78.2 [6.6] years), 1,022 deaths were observed during 33,350 person-years of follow-up. Using multivariable Cox proportional hazards models, higher light PA and moderate to vigorous PA were associated with lower mortality across all GRS for longevity categories (low/medium/high; all p trend < .001). Higher ST was associated with higher mortality (p trend across all GRS categories < .001). Interaction tests for PA and ST with the GRS were not statistically significant. Findings support the importance of higher PA and lower ST for reducing mortality risk in older women, regardless of genetic predisposition for longevity.

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Bidirectional Associations Between Physical Activity and Pain Among Older Adults: An Ecological Momentary Assessment Study

Tyler J. Davis, Derek J. Hevel, Genevieve F. Dunton, and Jaclyn P. Maher

This paper examines the within-day, bidirectional associations between physical activity and self-reported pain among older adults. Older adults (N = 104; range: 60–98 years) participated in a 10-day Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) study. Participants received six EMA prompts/day with a single item assessing pain. Participants wore an activPAL monitor measuring step counts. At the within-person level, on occasions when participants took more steps than usual in the 30 min before the EMA prompt, they were more likely to experience pain at the prompt ( β ^ 02 = 0.0003 , p < .03). At the between-person level, greater step counts in the 30 min before the EMA prompt, on average, were associated with less pain on occasions when pain was experienced ( β ^ 01 = 0.0005 , p < .04). Pain was not related to subsequent stepping. Bidirectional associations between physical activity and pain were not documented, but physical activity did appear to be related to subsequent pain.

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Effect of the GERAS DANcing for Cognition and Exercise Program on Physical Function in Older Adults

Courtney C. Kennedy, Patricia Hewston, George Ioannidis, Bonaventure Egbujie, Sharon Marr, Ahmed Negm, Justin Lee, Genevieve Hladysh, Richard Sztramko, Tricia Woo, Brian Misiaszek, Christopher Patterson, and Alexandra Papaioannou

GERAS DANcing for Cognition and Exercise is a therapeutic dance program for older adults with cognitive or mobility impairments. Using a pre-/posttest study design, we investigated the effect of 12 weeks of dance on the short performance physical battery (SPPB). In 107 participants aged 61–93 (mean 76.1, SD = 7.0; 20% men), over 90% had multifrailty and/or cognitive impairment. The mean attendance rate was 18/24 classes (75%). A substantial minimal clinically important difference (>0.4) occurred for SPPB total (+0.53, SD = 2.04, p = .002) and chair stands (+0.45, SD = 0.92, p < .001). Individuals with baseline SPPB ≤8 points (n = 38)—indicative of sarcopenia and physical frailty—had the most marked improvement (SPPB total: +1.45, SD = 1.97, p < .001; balance: +0.65, SD = 1.27, p = .006; chair stands: +0.68, SD = 0.97, p < .001). GERAS DANcing for Cognition and Exercise may be a promising rehabilitation intervention to improve daily physical function.

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Effects of Motor Learning Interventions on Walking Performance and Physical Function in Older Adults With Cognitive Impairment and Dementia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Mohsen Shafizadeh, Nicolas Farina, and Shahab Parvonpour

Older adults with cognitive impairment have deficits in executive systems that affect their gait automaticity. The aim of the meta-analysis and systematic review was to examine the effects of interventions focus on only motor learning principles on gait performance and physical functions (e.g., dynamic balance). After inspections of 879 articles, 11 relevant studies were selected for systematic review and meta-analysis. The PEDro scale and Modified Downs and Black checklist were used to assess the quality of studies, and a random-effect model was used at a 95% confidence interval for calculating pooled effect sizes. The results of this systematic review and meta-analysis showed that motor learning interventions increased gait speed, cadence, stride length, and reduced gait cognitive cost but did not affect gait variability and physical function. In conclusion, practitioners should pay attention more to the potential benefits of motor learning interventions in rehabilitating older adults with cognitive impairment.

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Physical Activity Influences Cortisol and Dehydroepiandrosterone (Sulfate) Levels in Older Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Len De Nys, Esther F. Ofosu, Gemma C. Ryde, Jenni Connelly, and Anna C. Whittaker

Age-related changes affect the ratio between two steroid hormones of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, cortisol and dehydroepiandrosterone (sulfate) (DHEA[S]). Physical activity (PA) may buffer the effects of chronic stress and counteract the aging decline of DHEA(S). Therefore, a systematic review was conducted to understand how PA influences physiological markers of cortisol and/or DHEA(S) and whether there is a difference in observational associations or experimental effects in older adults aged 65 years and older. A narrative synthesis was performed on nine observational studies, and meta-analyses were performed on 22 randomized controlled trials. There was low- to moderate-quality evidence that regular PA beneficially reduces cortisol and increases DHEA(S) levels. Subgroup analyses showed no clinically important differences between men and women, different exercise modalities, or health states. The findings cautiously suggest that regular PA of older adults’ own choice that they find enjoyable could be recommended to improve cortisol and/or DHEA(S) levels.

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Effects of Non-Face-to-Face and Noncontact Interventions on Knee Pain and Physical Activity in Older Adults With Knee Osteoarthritis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Kenta Hirohama, Hiroyuki Tamura, Kazuaki Hamada, Tsubasa Mitsutake, Takeshi Imura, Shigeharu Tanaka, and Ryo Tanaka

Increased physical activity is an effective treatment for knee osteoarthritis that causes knee pain. However, due to the coronavirus disease 2019, noncontact and non-face-to-face interventions have increased, but the quality of evidence supporting their effectiveness remains unclear. The purpose of the study was to assess the quality of evidence of the effects of non-face-to-face and noncontact interventions on knee pain and physical activity in older adults with knee osteoarthritis. A meta-analysis was conducted to determine the effects of different intervention methods (education and exercise). The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, PubMed, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, and Physiotherapy Evidence Database were systematically searched. Four randomized controlled trials were included in the analysis. The meta-analysis demonstrated that the educational intervention group was significantly effective, although supportive evidence was low quality. Educational intervention may be effective, but the effects need to be confirmed by higher quality clinical trials.