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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.

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A Descriptive Study Using Rasch Analysis and Hypothesis Testing to Evaluate the Psychometric Properties of the UMOVE Mobility Screen Tested With Hospitalized Older Adults

Barbara Resnick, Marie Boltz, Chris L. Wells, Elizabeth Galik, Ashley Kuzmik, and Rachel McPherson

The purpose of this study was to test the reliability and validity of the UMOVE Mobility Screen in older adults living with dementia using a Rasch analysis and hypothesis testing. The UMOVE Mobility Screen (UMOVE) focuses on nine activities: following commands, muscle strength, and basic functional mobility tasks. Trained evaluators completed assessments on 244 patients, the majority of whom were female (62%), and White (71%). Based on Rasch Analysis, there was evidence of good item and person reliability (indexes > 0.80), good INFIT statistics, and only one item fitting the model based on OUTFIT statistics. Validity was supported based on hypothesis testing. There was no evidence of Differential Item Functioning between races and genders. Item mapping raised concerns about the spread of the items across the full spectrum of mobility assessed in the UMOVE Mobility Screen. Future testing should consider adding some easier and some more difficult items.

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Physical Activity and Psychological Resilience in Older Adults: A Systematic Review of the Literature

Eliza E. Toth, Ferenc Ihász, Roberto Ruíz-Barquín, and Attila Szabo

Older adults face numerous unfavorable functional changes caused by aging, but many exhibit resilience, which helps them cope with challenges. Physical activity is positively associated with resilience. Therefore, this systematic literature review aimed to uncover the relationships between physical activity and resilience in older adults. We have analyzed three freely and openly available databases: (a) PubMed/Medline, (b) ScienceDirect, and (c) Google Scholar, which yielded 20 eligible articles based on the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Most studies (14) were cross-sectional, three were longitudinal, and three others used mindfulness-based or endurance-enhancing physical activity interventions. Their results revealed increased resilience even after short-duration and low-frequency interventions. Cross-sectional research results also support the positive relationship between physical activity and resilience in older adults, suggesting that the relationship might depend on exercise volume. Still, further research is needed to design interventions, understand the mechanism(s) involved in altering resilience, and maximize physical activity’s benefits in aging people.