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Rosiane Jesus do Nascimento, Valter Cordeiro Barbosa Filho, Cassiano Ricardo Rech, Rafaela Batista Brasil, Renato Campos Junior, Inês Amanda Streit, and Ewertton de Souza Bezerra

The current study aimed to follow the effects of social/physical distancing strategies on health-related daily physical activity and quality of life among older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic. Seventy-two older adults who were enrolled in a University–Community program in March 2020 (age = 66.8 ± 4.82 years, ♀59) answered five phone-based surveys up to 120 days after the COVID-19 outbreak (from April to August 2020). The Short Form 6D and international physical activity (short version) questionnaires were applied. A significant reduction was observed in daily physical activity levels, metabolic equivalent of task, and health-related quality of life scores as well as an increase in sitting time during the week and on weekend days (all p < .01). The authors noted differences in lifestyle conditions at the beginning of the social/physical distancing in the community assessed (p < .01). Health vulnerabilities among older adults have been emphasized during the COVID-19 outbreak, impacting daily physical activity and health-related quality of life.

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Neda Nasrollahi, Jordan Quensell, and Liana Machado

Despite an abundance of evidence that exercise benefits cognition and mood, physical activity levels among older adults remain low, with time and inaccessibility posing major barriers. Interval stair climbing is an accessible time-efficient form of physical activity demonstrated to benefit cognition and mood in young adults, but effectiveness in older adults remains unknown. To address this, 28 older adults (M age = 69.78 years, 16 females) undertook cognitive and mood assessments twice, 1 week apart, once preceded by interval stair climbing. A fairly large, albeit only marginally significant, effect size (ηp2=.12) indicated improved cognition following the moderate- to high-intensity intervention; however, rather than improving mood, older adults reported feeling more tired (g = 0.51). These outcomes provide initial indications that this mode of exercise that can easily translate to naturalistic settings offers promise as an intervention strategy, but more research is needed to optimize the protocol to suit aged populations (ACTRN1261900169014).

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Lucas Eduardo Rodrigues Santos, André dos Santos Costa, Eduardo Caldas Costa, Vinicius Oliveira Damasceno, Zhaojing Chen, Izaildo Alves de Oliveira, Karla Kristine Dames, Flávio Oliveira Pires, and Tony Meireles Santos

The purpose of the study was to investigate the effects of passive recovery with self-selected time on affect, ratings of perceived exertion, and heart rate in self-selected interval exercises (SSIE). Fifteen older women (68.1 ± 3.8 years), weekly practitioners of functional activities participated in three SSIE with self-selected recovery time (SSRT) and one self-selected continuous exercise session, all at 24 min approximately. The SSIE had the following configurations: 1′/SSRT, 1.5′/SSRT, and 2′/SSRT. The results showed that at the beginning of stimulus heart rate in 1.5′/SSRT (107.9 ± 16.5) and 2′/SSRT (114.6 ± 17.1) were significantly greater (p < .05) compared with self-selected continuous exercise (102.8 ± 14.5). The ratings of perceived exertion in self-selected continuous exercise (2.4 ± 0.4; p < .05) were higher compared with SSIE in recovery. No significant differences were found in affect. The SSIE provided similar responses based on recoveries manipulations.

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Luiz Fernado Biazus-Sehn, Rafael Reimann Baptista, Régis Gemerasca Mestriner, Bianca Pacheco Loss, Daniela Aldabe, and Felipe de Souza Stigger

Real-world walking requires shifting attention from different cognitive demands to adapt gait. This study aims to evaluate the effect of dual tasking on spatiotemporal gait parameters of older adults. Participants were asked to perform a primary complex single-walking task, consisting of a fast-paced linear and a curved gait. Primary task was performed separately and simultaneously with different motor and cognitive secondary tasks. Spatiotemporal gait parameters, walk ratio, and walk stability ratio were measured. Apart from stride length, which stood relatively unchanged, gait speed and cadence were strongly affected by cognitive dual tasking. Cadence seems to be the most impacted by dual tasking during curved gait as it combines challenges of both primary and secondary tasks. Also, during curved phase, walking ratio was significantly lower and stability ratio was greater demonstrating that participants adopted a cautious gait where maintenance of stability took preference over efficiency.

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Sylvia Sunde, Karin Hesseberg, Dawn A. Skelton, Anette H. Ranhoff, Are H. Pripp, Marit Aarønæs, and Therese Brovold

The objective of this study was to evaluate physical function and health-related quality of life 4 months after the cessation of a 4-month exercise intervention in 89 older adults after discharge from hospital. Linear mixed regression models were used to evaluate between-group differences. Data were analyzed according to the intention-to-treat principle. There was no statistically significant between-group difference in the Short Physical Performance Battery (mean difference 0.5 points, 95% confidence interval [−0.6, 1.5], p = .378). There was a statistically significant difference in favor of the intervention group in functional capacity (the 6-min walk test; mean difference 32.9 m, 95% confidence interval [1.5, 64.3], p = .040) and physical health–related quality of life (physical component summary of medical outcome Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey; mean difference 5.9 points, 95% confidence interval [2.0, 9.7], p = .003). Interventions aiming to maintain or increase physical function and health-related quality of life should be encouraged in this population.

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Bridgitte Swales, Gemma C. Ryde, and Anna C. Whittaker

Frailty is associated with negative health outcomes, disability, and mortality. Physical activity is an effective intervention to improve functional health status. However, the effect of resistance training on multidimensional health in frail older adults remains unclear. This randomized controlled trial was conducted in a U.K. residential care home to assess feasibility with limited efficacy testing on health and functional outcomes and to inform a future definitive randomized controlled trial. Eleven frail older adults (>65 years) completed a 6-week machine-based resistance training protocol three times a week. Uptake and retention were greater than 80%. The measures and intervention were found to be acceptable and practicable. The analyses indicated large improvements in functional capacity, frailty, and strength in the intervention group compared with the controls. These findings support the feasibility of a definitive randomized controlled trial and reinforce the value of resistance training in this population. This trial was registered with NCT03141879.

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Yong Yang, Shu-Chen Chen, Chiao-Nan Chen, Chihw-Wen Hsu, Wen-Sheng Zhou, and Kuei-Yu Chien

Muscle strength after detraining is still higher than the level before training, which is an important issue for middle-aged and older adults. The purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of detraining duration (DD), resistance training duration (RTD), and intensity on the maintenance of resistance training (RT) benefits after detraining in middle-aged and older adults. A systematic search yielded 15 randomized control trails (n = 383) eligible for inclusion. The results showed that RTD ≥ 24 weeks and DD ≥ RTD, the RT benefits were still significantly maintained even with medium and low intensity (standardized mean difference = 1.16, 95% confidence interval, CI [0.38, 1.94], p = .004). When RTD < 24 weeks and DD ≤ RTD, only the high-intensity groups maintained the RT benefits (DD, 4–6 weeks: standardized mean difference = 0.71, 95% CI [0.34, 1.08], p = .0002; DD 8–16 weeks: standardized mean difference = 1.35, 95% CI [0.66, 2.04], p = .0001). However, when DD > RTD, the RT benefits were not maintained even with high intensity. In summary, when RTD was less than 24 weeks, RTD > DD was an important factor in maintaining muscle strength.

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Vincent Berardi, David Pincus, Evan Walker, and Marc A. Adams

This study examined whether patterns of self-organization in physical activity (PA) predicted long-term success in a yearlong PA intervention. Increased moderate to vigorous PA (MVPA) was targeted in insufficiently active adults (N = 512) via goal setting and financial reinforcement. The degree to which inverse power law distributions, which are reflective of self-organization, summarized (a) daily MVPA and (b) time elapsed between meeting daily goals (goal attainment interresponse times) was calculated. Goal attainment interresponse times were also used to calculate burstiness, the degree to which meeting daily goals clustered in time. Inverse power laws accurately summarized interresponse times, but not daily MVPA. For participants with higher levels of MVPA early in the study, burstiness in reaching goals was associated with long-term resistance to intervention, while stochasticity in meeting goals predicted receptiveness to intervention. These results suggest that burstiness may measure self-organizing resistance to change, while PA stochasticity could be a precondition for behavioral malleability.

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Sara Oliveira, Marina Cunha, António Rosado, and Cláudia Ferreira

This study aimed to test a model that hypothesized that the compassionate coach, as perceived by the athletes, has an impact on athlete-related social safeness and psychological health, through shame and self-criticism. The sample comprised 270 Portuguese adult athletes, who practiced different competitive sports. The path analysis results confirmed the adequacy of the proposed model, which explained 45% of the psychological health’s variance. Results demonstrated that athletes who perceive their coaches as more compassionate tend to present higher levels of social safeness (feelings of belonging to the team) and of psychological health, through lower levels of shame and self-criticism. These novel findings suggest the importance of the adoption of supportive, warm, safe, and compassionate attitudes from coaches in athletes’ mental health. This study also offers important insights by suggesting that feelings of acceptance and connectedness in team relationships may be at the root of athletes’ emotional processes and well-being.

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Kim Gammage, Jeff Caron, Alyson Crozier, Alison Ede, Christopher Hill, Sean Locke, Desi McEwan, Kathleen Mellano, Eva Pila, Matthew Stork, and Svenja Wolf