This study investigated the impact of multimorbidity patterns on physical activity and capacity outcomes over the course of a year-long exercise intervention, and on physical activity 1 year later. Participants were 314 physically inactive community-dwelling men and women aged 70–85 years, with no contraindications for exercise at baseline. Physical activity was self-reported. Physical capacity measurements included five-time chair-stand time, 6-minute walking distance, and maximal isometric knee-extension strength. The intervention included supervised and home-based strength, balance, and walking exercises. Multimorbidity patterns comprised physician-diagnosed chronic disease conditions as a predictor cluster and body mass index as a measure of obesity. Multimorbidity patterns explained 0%–12% of baseline variance and 0%–3% of the change in outcomes. The magnitude and direction of the impact of unique conditions varied by outcome, time point, and sex. Multimorbid older adults with no contraindications for exercise may benefit from multimodal physical training.
The Impact of Multimorbidity Patterns on Changes in Physical Activity and Physical Capacity Among Older Adults Participating in a Year-Long Exercise Intervention
Tiina Savikangas, Taija Savolainen, Anna Tirkkonen, Markku Alén, Arto J. Hautala, Jari A. Laukkanen, Timo Rantalainen, Timo Törmäkangas, and Sarianna Sipilä
Volume 31 (2023): Issue 6 (Dec 2023)
Baseline Measures of Physical Activity and Function Do Not Predict Future Fall Incidence in Sedentary Older Adults: A Prospective Cohort Study
Justin Whitten, Rod Barrett, Christopher P. Carty, Dawn Tarabochia, David MacDonald, and David Graham
Physical activity (PA) and physical function (PF) are modifiable risk factors for falls in older adults, but their ability to predict future fall incidence is unclear. The purpose of this study was to determine the predictive ability of baseline measures of PA, PF, and lower limb strength on future falls. A total of 104 participants underwent baseline assessments of PA, PF, and lower limb strength. Falls were monitored prospectively for 12 months. Eighteen participants fell at least once during the 12-month follow-up. Participants recorded almost exclusively sedentary levels of activity. PA, PF, and lower limb strength did not differ between fallers and nonfallers. Twelve participants, who reported a minor musculoskeletal injury in the past 6 months, experienced a fall. The results of this study suggest that in a cohort of highly functioning, sedentary older adults, PA does not distinguish fallers from nonfallers and that the presence of a recent musculoskeletal injury appears to be a possible risk factor for falling.
Impact of COVID-19 on Physical Activity, Fatigue, and Frailty in Community-Dwelling Older Adults: A Cross-Sectional Study
Veerle Knoop, Axelle Costenoble, Aziz Debain, Kristof Van der Meulen, Patricia De Vriendt, Ellen Gorus, Bert Bravenboer, Bart Jansen, Aldo Scafoglieri, Ivan Bautmans, and
This study aimed to describe the level of physical activity and its relation to fatigue and frailty during the COVID-19 pandemic in community-dwelling older adults aged 80 years and over. Three hundred and ninety-one older adults (aged 86.5 ± 3.00) completed a survey including physical activity, the Mobility Tiredness scale, and the FRAIL scale. Linear regression analysis was conducted to assess whether the variables age, sex, and physical activity (independent factors) were significantly related to fatigue and frailty. Respectively, 30.5% and 24.7% of the participants reported a decrease in walking and in energy-intensive activities; 25.4% reported increased sedentary behavior. A lower level of physical activity was associated with higher levels of fatigue and increased frailty risk (p < .05), independently from psychological symptoms. These results are important because participants with lower levels of physical activity and more sedentary behavior are more likely to feel fatigued and have higher risk to be frail.
Physical Activity Changes From Before to During the First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic Among Community-Dwelling Older Adults in Finland
Katja Lindeman, Laura Karavirta, Johanna Eronen, Niina Kajan, Erja Portegijs, and Taina Rantanen
This study aimed to compare community-dwelling older adults’ physical activity (PA) during the COVID-19 restrictions in 2020 to their PA levels 2 years before and investigate associations between earlier physical performance and PA levels over the follow-up. Participants’ (n = 809, initial age 75–85 years) self-reported PA was assessed at baseline in 2017–2018 and May/June 2020 as total weekly minutes of walking and vigorous PA. Physical performance was assessed at baseline using the maximal handgrip strength and Short Physical Performance Battery tests. During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, a median change in total weekly minutes of walking and vigorous PA among all participants was + 20.0 (interquartile range: −60.0 to 120.0, p < .001) min per week compared with 2 years earlier. Higher baseline Short Physical Performance Battery total scores were associated with higher total weekly minutes of walking and vigorous PA over the follow-up in men and women, and better handgrip strength in women.
Latin Dance Effects on Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Physical Function in Middle-Aged and Older Latino Adults
Omar Lopez, Navin Kaushal, Michelle A. Jaldin, and David X. Marquez
We tested if a dance trial yielded improvements in physical function and cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) in middle-aged/older Latino adults. Physical activity was assessed using the Community Healthy Activities Model Program for Seniors, physical function with the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) protocol, and estimated CRF with the Jurca nonexercise test model. Multivariate analysis of covariance models found significant change in SPPB protocol total scores, F(1, 329) = 4.23, p = .041, and CRF, F(1, 329) = 5.16, p = .024, between the two study arms in favor of the dance group. Mediation models found moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity to mediate to mediate between group and SPPB scores (β = 0.054, 95% confidence interval [0.0142, 0.1247]). Moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity and total physical activity were found to partially mediate between group and CRF (β = 0.02, 95% confidence interval [−0.0261, 0.0751]), with the direct pathway no longer being significant (p > .05). This provides support for Latin dance programs to have an effect on SPPB protocol and CRF.
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.
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.
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.
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.