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Prepandemic Feasibility of Tele-Exercise as an Alternative Delivery Mode for an Evidence-Based, Tai Ji Quan Fall-Prevention Intervention for Older Adults

Dina L. Jones, Maura Robinson, Terry Kit Selfe, Lucinda Barnes, McKinzey Dierkes, Samantha Shawley-Brzoska, Douglas J. Myers, and Sara Wilcox

There is a critical need for fall-prevention interventions to reach medically underserved, hard-to-reach, rural older adults. The evidence-based Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance (TJQMBB) program reduces falls in older adults. This pre-COVID-19 pandemic study assessed the feasibility and impact of a 16-week tele-TJQMBB intervention in older adults. Instructors led six tele-TJQMBB classes via Zoom for 52 older adults (mean age ± SD 68.5 ± 7.7 years) at one academic and four community sites. Nearly all (97%) planned sessions were delivered. Average attendance was 61%. There were no adverse events. Fidelity was fair to good (mean 67%). Forty-one percent of sessions experienced technical disruptions. Participants improved their gait speed, balance, lower-extremity strength, and body mass index. Tele-TJQMBB was feasible with a positive impact on outcomes. This study was the first step toward establishing an additional delivery mode that could potentially expand TJQMBB’s reach and maintenance.

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Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior, and Their Predictors Among Nursing Home Residents—Cross-Sectional Results of the BaSAlt Study

Rebekka Pomiersky, Leon Matting, Daniel Haigis, Gerhard W. Eschweiler, Annika Frahsa, Andreas Niess, Ansgar Thiel, and Gordon Sudeck

Little is known about physical activity (PA) and sedentary behavior (SB) among nursing home residents although PA is known as a health promoter. This study examined PA, SB, and their predictors among nursing home residents (n = 63). Dependent variables were accelerometry-based PA and SB. Predictor variables included in a path analysis were age, sex, body mass index, Barthel Index, cognitive status (Mini-Mental State Examination), physical performance (hand grip strength and habitual walking speed), and well-being (World Health Organization-5 well-being index). PA was very low (M steps per day = 2,433) and SB was high (M percentage of sedentary time = 89.4%). PA was significantly predicted by age (β = −0.27, p = .008), body mass index (β = −0.29, p = .002), Barthel Index (β = 0.24, p = .040), and hand grip strength (β = 0.30, p = .048). SB was significantly predicted by body mass index (β = 0.27, p = .008) and Barthel Index (β = −0.30, p = .012). Results might be helpful for everyday practice to identify individuals at high risk for low PA and high SB.

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Volume 32 (2024): Issue 2 (Apr 2024)

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Daily Pain Severity but Not Vertebral Fractures Is Associated With Lower Physical Activity in Postmenopausal Women With Back Pain

Gallin Montgomery, Jon H. Tobias, Zoe Paskins, Tarnjit K. Khera, Cameron J. Huggins, Sarah J. Allison, Daniel Abasolo, Emma M. Clark, and Alex Ireland

Back pain lifetime incidence is 60%–70%, while 12%–20% of older women have vertebral fractures (VFs), often with back pain. We aimed to provide objective evidence, currently lacking, regarding whether back pain and VFs affect physical activity (PA). We recruited 69 women with recent back pain (age 74.5 ± 5.4 years). Low- (0.5 < g < 1.0), medium- (1.0 ≤ g < 1.5), and high-impact (g ≥ 1.5) PA and walking time were measured (100 Hz for 7 days, hip-worn accelerometer). Linear mixed-effects models assessed associations between self-reported pain and PA, and group differences (VFs from spine radiographs/no-VF) in PA. Higher daily pain was associated with reduced low (β = −0.12, 95% confidence interval, [−0.22, −0.03], p = .013) and medium-impact PA (β = −0.11, 95% confidence interval, [−0.21, −0.01], p = .041), but not high-impact PA or walking time (p > .11). VFs were not associated with PA (all p > .2). Higher daily pain levels but not VFs were associated with reduced low- and medium-impact PA, which could increase sarcopenia and falls risk in older women with back pain.

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Dual- and Single-Task Training in Older Adults With Age-Related Hearing Loss: A Randomized Controlled Study

Hande Usta Ozdemir, Ali Kitis, and Fazıl Necdet Ardıc

We aimed to investigate the effects of dual- and single-task training in older adults with age-related hearing loss. Intervention groups included single-, dual-task training, and control groups. The dual- and single-task trainings were held 2 days a week for 40 min for a total of 10 sessions for 5 weeks. We evaluated physical, cognitive, and auditory functions, quality-of-life, balance, concerns about falling, independence in activities of daily living, and dual-task performance. A total of 42 patients fully participated in this study. Statistically significant differences were observed in chair stand, chair sit-and-reach, global cognitive function, and delayed recall between the intervention groups and control group (p < .05). There was no statistically significant difference in quality-of-life, balance, falling concerns, independence in activities of daily living, and dual-task performance between all groups (p > .05). In conclusion, single- and dual-task training had a positive effect on physical and cognitive functioning in older adults with age-related hearing loss.

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Effects of Aerobic Exercise on Executive and Memory Functions in Patients With Alzheimer’s Disease: A Systematic Review

Qiaoyou Luo, Zuguo Tian, Yuting Hu, and Chaochao Wang

Background: Alzheimer’s disease threatens the health of older adults, particularly by disrupting executive and memory functions, and many studies have shown that aerobic exercise prevents and improves the symptoms associated with the disease. Objective: The objective was to systematically review the effects of aerobic exercise on executive and memory functions in patients with Alzheimer’s disease and to determine the effect factors and mechanisms of the design of aerobic exercise intervention programs. Method: Relevant literature was searched in three databases (PubMed, Web of Science, and EBSCO) from January 1, 2014 to March 1, 2023, using a subject-word search method. Data on 10 items, including author and country, were extracted from the literature after screening. The quality of the literature was evaluated using the Physiotherapy Evidence Database scale, and a systematic review was performed. Results: Twelve papers from seven countries were ultimately included, embodying 11 randomized controlled trials and one study with a repeated-measures design. The overall quality of the studies was good as 657 study participants, aged 45 years and older who had varying degrees of Alzheimer’s disease and significant symptoms, were included. Aerobic exercise was found to have a significant positive impact on executive and memory functions in people with Alzheimer’s disease. Conclusion: The effects of aerobic exercise on aspects of executive function were mainly characterized by improvements in inhibitory control, working memory, and cognitive flexibility, whereas the effects on aspects of memory function were mainly characterized by improvements in logical memory, situational memory, and short-term memory.

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Physical Activity Patterns Within Dementia Care Dyads

Nicolas Farina, Ríona McArdle, Ruth G. Lowry, and Sube Banerjee

Previous research has explored the physical activity habits of people with dementia and their family carers separately, with little consideration of how physical habits are associated within dyads. In this observational study, we sought to explore the relationship between people with dementia and their carers’ physical activity, at a group level and at a dyadic level. Twenty-six participant dyads (persons with dementia and their carer spouses) were asked to wear an accelerometer for 30 days continuously. Comparisons were made at a group level and a dyadic level. People with dementia did not participate in significantly more moderate to vigorous physical activity (M = 15.44 min/day; SD = 14.40) compared with carers (M = 17.95 min/day; SD = 17.01). Within dyads, there were moderately strong associations between daily moderate to vigorous physical activity (r = .48–.54), but not with overall activity levels (r = .24). Despite physical activity habits remaining relatively low within people with dementia and carers, respectively, moderate to vigorous physical activity levels appear to be correlated within dyads. Understanding mutual influence on physical activity levels within dyads is an important pathway to promote an active lifestyle.

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Framing Physical Literacy for Adults Through a Rehabilitation Lens: An Expert Consensus Study

Celeste Petrusevski, Joy C. MacDermid, Michael G. Wilson, and Julie Richardson

Research indicates a positive relationship between physical literacy and healthy aging; however, there is no consensus on the components required to become a physically literate adult. The objective of this study was to understand how physical literacy for adults with chronic conditions is characterized from the perspective of healthcare professionals. Physiotherapy leaders and physical literacy researchers within North America were invited to an online consensus panel and presented with questions related to physical literacy and rehabilitation. A nominal group technique was used for idea generation, clarification, and ranking. Confidence and safety with movements, motivation and commitment to physical activity, the ability to self-monitor changes in function, and understanding the benefits of physical activity were key components when defining physical literacy. There is a need to reconceptualize physical literacy to include the rehabilitation needs of adults living with chronic conditions, and to design programs that promote physical literacy to enhance function and mobility.

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Systemic Sirtuin 1 as a Potential Target to Mediate Interactions Between Body Fat and Testosterone Concentration in Master Athletes

Patricio Lopes de Araújo Leite, Larissa Alves Maciel, Samuel da Silva Aguiar, Caio Victor Sousa, Rodrigo Vanerson Passos Neves, Ivo Vieira de Sousa Neto, Lucca Campbell Simões, Thiago dos Santos Rosa, and Herbert Gustavo Simões

Evidence indicates that master athletes have higher concentration of Sirtuin 1 (Sirt1), lower body fat (BF), and greater activity of the hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal axis in comparison to untrained peers. However, no published data have demonstrated possible mediation effect of Sirt1 in the interaction of BF and testosterone in this population. Therefore, this study compared and verified possible associations between Sirt1, BF, fat mass index (FMI), testosterone, luteinizing hormone (LH), and testosterone/luteinizing hormone (T/LH) ratio in middle-aged master athletes (n = 54; 51.22 ± 7.76 years) and control middle-aged peers (n = 21; 47.76 ± 8.47 years). Venous blood was collected for testosterone, LH, and Sirt1. BF was assessed through skinfold protocol. Although LH concentration did not differ between groups, master athletes presented higher concentration of Sirt1, testosterone, and T/LH ratio, and lower BF and FMI in relation to age-matched nonathletes. Moreover, Sirt1 correlated positively with testosterone and T/LH ratio, negatively with BF, and was not significantly correlated with LH (mediation analysis revealed the effect of BF on testosterone is mediated by Sirt1 and vice versa; R 2 = .1776; p = .032). In conclusion, master athletes have higher testosterone, T/LH ratio, and Sirt1, and lower BF and FMI in relation to untrained peers. Furthermore, Sirt1 was negatively associated with BF and positively associated with testosterone and T/LH ratio. These findings suggest that increased circulating Sirt1, possibly due to the master athlete’s training regimens and lifestyle, exhibits a potential mediation effect on the interaction between endocrine function and body composition.

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Physical Behavior Profiles Among Older Adults and Their Associations With Physical Capacity and Life-Space Mobility

Lotta Palmberg, Antti Löppönen, Matti Hyvärinen, Erja Portegijs, Taina Rantanen, Timo Rantalainen, and Laura Karavirta

We identified data-driven multidimensional physical activity (PA) profiles using several novel accelerometer-derived metrics. Participants aged 75, 80, and 85 (n = 441) wore triaxial accelerometers for 3–7 days. PA profiles were formed with k-means cluster analysis based on PA minutes, intensity, fragmentation, sit-to-stand transitions, and gait bouts for men and women. Associations with physical capacity and life-space mobility were examined using age-adjusted general linear models. Three profiles emerged: “Exercisers” and “actives” accumulated relatively high PA minutes, with actives engaging in lighter intensity PA. “Inactives” had the highest activity fragmentation and lowest PA volume, intensity, and gait bouts. Inactives showed lower scores in physical capacity and life-space mobility compared with exercisers and actives. Exercisers and actives had similar physical capacity and life-space mobility, except female exercisers had higher walking speed in the 6-min walk test. Our findings demonstrate the importance of assessing PA as multidimensional behavior rather than focusing on a single metric.