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Medial Temporal Lobe Atrophy in Older Adults With Subjective Cognitive Impairments Affects Gait Parameters in the Spatial Navigation Task

Natalia Anna Pawlaczyk, Rafał Milner, Magdalena Szmytke, Bartłomiej Kiljanek, Bibianna Bałaj, Aleksandra Wypych, and Monika Lewandowska

Both navigation abilities and gait can be affected by the atrophy in the medial temporal cortex. This study aimed to determine whether navigation abilities could differentiate seniors with and without medial temporal lobe atrophy who complained about their cognitive status. The participants, classified to either the medial temporal atrophy group (n = 23) or the control group (n = 22) underwent neuropsychological assessment and performed a spatial navigation task while their gait parameters were recorded. The study showed no significant differences between the two groups in memory, fluency, and semantic knowledge or typical measures of navigating abilities. However, gait parameters, particularly the propulsion index during certain phases of the navigation task, distinguished between seniors with and without medial temporal lobe lesions. These findings suggest that the gait parameters in the navigation task may be a valuable tool for identifying seniors with cognitive complaints and subtle medial temporal atrophy.

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Adaptation of the Recreovía During COVID-19 Lockdowns: Making Physical Activity Accessible to Older Adults in Bogotá, Colombia

Silvia A. González, Deepti Adlakha, Santiago Cabas, Sharon C. Sánchez-Franco, Maria A. Rubio, Natalia Ossa, Paola A. Martínez, Nathally Espinosa, and Olga L. Sarmiento

The community restrictions during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic adversely impacted older adults’ physical activity levels. This convergent mixed-method study assessed the adaptation of the Recreovía, a community-based physical activity program in Bogotá, and characterized physical activity levels among older adult participants. Our results showed how the Recreovía adapted during the pandemic to continue promoting physical activity, through indoor and outdoor strategies, including virtual physical activity sessions and safety protocols. During this time, 72%–79% of the older adults attending the adapted program were physically active. A greater proportion of park users (84.2%) and more people involved in vigorous physical activity were observed during Recreovía days. Older adults had positive experiences and perceptions of the Recreovía program related to their health and social well-being. Even though the older adults prefer being outdoors, the adapted program allowed participants to continue with their physical activity routines as much as possible during the pandemic.

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Instructors’ Perceptions and Experiences of Teaching Online Exercise Classes to Older Adults: A Qualitative Study

Matthieu Dagenais, Aleksandra Krajnovic, Sarah Galway, and Kimberley Gammage

Online exercise programming has become increasingly popular in recent years, including for older adults. Instructors hold unique perspectives on such programming that could yield important insights for effective program design and delivery. The purpose of this study was to qualitatively examine instructors’ perceptions and experiences teaching exercise classes online to older adults. Using qualitative description, 19 instructors from a community exercise program for seniors completed a one-on-one semistructured interview. We analyzed data using reflexive thematic analysis and generated three main themes: (a) characteristics of effective online instructors, (b) challenges to delivering online exercise programming to older adults, and (c) future of online exercise programming. Most participants enjoyed delivering online exercise classes and developing the unique skills (particularly related to fostering social experiences and engaging with participants) required to be effective online exercise instructors. Our findings speak to the importance of ensuring instructors are adequately trained to deliver online exercise to seniors.

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Parks Visitation, Physical Activity Engagement, and Older People’s Motivation for Visiting Local Parks

Pazit Levinger, Bronwyn L. Dreher, Jeremy Dunn, Stephanie Garratt, Emma Abfalter, Briony Dow, Frances Batchelor, and Keith D. Hill

Despite the health benefits of parks and outdoor recreational spaces, small numbers of older people visit parks. This study identified older park visitors’ perceptions of their local parks, visit motivation, health, and physical activity level in six parks in Victoria, Australia. Characteristics of general community park visitors and their physical activity engagement were also recorded. Fifty-five older people were surveyed onsite; 92.7% lived within a 5-km distance from the park. Walking was the most common reason for visiting (36.4%), followed by walking the dog (36.4%) and exercise (23.6%). Most older visitors (77.8%) were determined as being sufficiently active. Observation of parks visitors over 1 week recorded 3,770 park visitors, with <5% being older people. Half of all park visitors were inactive, and half of older people visitors (50.5%) engaged in walking. This study supports the importance of parks, park features, and their potential in helping older people to achieve levels of physical activity required for good health.

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Adapting an Effective Health-Promoting Intervention—Choose to Move—for Chinese Older Adults in Canada

Venessa Wong, Thea Franke, Heather McKay, Catherine Tong, Heather Macdonald, and Joanie Sims-Gould

Evidence is sparse on how community-based health-promoting programs can be culturally adapted for racially minoritized, immigrant older adult populations. Choose to Move (CTM) is an evidence-based health-promoting program that enhances physical activity and mobility and diminished social isolation and loneliness in older adults in British Columbia, Canada. However, racially minoritized older adults were not reached in initial offerings. We purposively sampled CTM delivery staff (n = 8) from three not-for-profit organizations, in Metro Vancouver, British Columbia, that serve Chinese older adults. We used semistructured interviews, ethnographic observations, and meeting minutes to understand delivery staff’s perspectives on factors that influence CTM adaptations for Chinese older adults. Deductive framework analysis guided by an adaptation framework, Framework for Reporting Adaptations and Modifications-Enhanced, found three dominant cultural- and immigration-related factors influenced CTM adaptations for Chinese older adults: (a) prioritizations, (b) familiarity, and (c) literacy. Findings may influence future program development and delivery to meet the needs of racially minoritized older adult populations.

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Volume 31 (2023): Issue 5 (Oct 2023)

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Determination of Body Composition in Community-Dwelling Older Adults With and Without Sarcopenia Using Data From Practical Measures

Sugalya Amatachaya, Pakwipa Chokphukiao, Puttipong Poncumhak, Roongnapa Intaruk, Thiwabhorn Thaweewannakij, and Pipatana Amatachaya

Adequate body composition is essential for health, function, and independence in older adults. However, standard body composition assessments require complex and costly modalities, limiting their use for early detection of body composition changes and periodic follow-up. This study explored the ability of three practical measures—handgrip strength, five times sit-to-stand test, and upper limb loading during seated push-up test (ULL-SPUT)—to determine body composition in 109 older adults with and without sarcopenia. Participants (average age 76 years) were cross-sectionally measured for outcomes of the study. The ULL-SPUT and handgrip strength, but not the five times sit-to-stand test, significantly correlated with body composition (rs , r = .297–.827, p < .01). The ULL-SPUT, in combination with demographic data, could determine body composition up to 82%. Therefore, the ULL-SPUT may be a practical preliminary measure to identify older adults for whom standard body composition assessments and follow-up would prove timely and beneficial.

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Does Role Identity Mediate the Influence of Motivational Regulations on Physical Activity Behavior Among People 55 Years or Older?

Steve Amireault and Mary Katherine Huffman

The objective of this study was to estimate the extent to which motivational regulations influence physical activity behavior through role identity among people 55 years or older. Participants (N = 409; M age = 66.29 years [SD = 7.06]) completed online questionnaires to measure motivational regulations, role identity, and the frequency of physical activity in a typical week and in the past month. Mediation analysis using ordinary least squares path analysis revealed that autonomous forms of motivational regulation (positively) and controlled forms of motivational regulation (negatively) influenced role identity, which then positively influenced physical activity behavior. Bootstrap confidence intervals (95%) for the indirect effects (a × b) based on 5,000 bootstrap samples were entirely above or below zero. These findings point to future experimental evaluations of interventions aiming at both increasing and decreasing autonomous and controlled motivational regulations, respectively, to promote physical activity behavior through role identity.

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Perceived Constraints to Pickleball Participation Among Black Older Adults

Jonathan M. Casper, Amy Chan Hyung Kim, and Jason N. Bocarro

Pickleball offers sociopsychological and physical activity benefits for older adults but lacks racial diversity. The purpose of this study was to identify constraints to pickleball participation with Black older adults (65+ years) as well as examine differences based on physical activity and sex. A Qualtrics panel included Black older adults (N = 292) who have heard of pickleball and are physically able to play but have not played. Results found Knowledge, Accessibility, Interpersonal, and Interest were the most salient constraints overall. Multivariate analysis of variance found that those who report low physical activity had significantly higher Interpersonal, Psychological, Costs, and Perceived Racism constraints. Additionally, females report significantly higher Knowledge, Psychological, and Cost constraints compared to males. The results further the theoretical application of constraints to physical activity research and provide insights into practitioner implications to grow the sport of pickleball for Black older adults.

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Comparing Online and In-Person Delivery of a Fall Prevention Exercise Program for Older Adults

Vanessa Pitre, Martin Sénéchal, and Danielle R. Bouchard

Exercise is the single most effective strategy to reduce the risk of falls. Online classes have grown in popularity, but the benefits of online classes remain unknown. Zoomers on the Go is a peer-led 12-week exercise program offered twice weekly to adults 50+ years old. The main outcome was lower body strength measured by the 30-s chair stand test. Other outcomes included dropout, attendance, balance, cardiorespiratory fitness, and perceived health. A total of 74 participants (age 66.3 ± 7.1 years) in the online group and 84 participants in the in-person group (age 67.3 ± 7.2 years) completed the program, with attendance for the online group. Both groups significantly improved their 30-s chair stand, cardiorespiratory fitness, and balance (p < .001) with no difference in functional benefits between groups. The in-person group improved their perceived health and significantly reduced levels of stress and depression, while no such changes were observed in the online group.