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Jerry Öhlin, Yngve Gustafson, Håkan Littbrand, Birgitta Olofsson and Annika Toots

Improving dementia screening procedures beyond simple assessment of current cognitive performance is timely given the ongoing phenomenon of population aging. A slow or declining gait speed (GS) is a potential early indicator of cognitive decline scarcely investigated in very old people. Here, we investigated the 5-year associations of baseline GS, change in GS, and cognitive function with subsequent dementia development in people aged 85 years and older (n = 296) without dementia at baseline. Declining and a slow baseline GS were associated with higher odds of dementia development after adjusting for confounders (e.g., age, sex, and dependency in activities of daily living) and missing GS values at follow-up. The GS decline was associated with cognitive decline in participants who developed dementia. The results support the potential of GS tests to predict future cognitive decline among community- and nursing home-dwelling very old people.

Open access

Nobuaki Moriyama, Hajime Iwasa and Seiji Yasumura

The aim of this study was to examine the association between perceived environment and physical activity among older adults in Fukushima Prefecture after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and the impact of evacuation. Questionnaires were distributed to individuals aged 65 years and older from October to November 2018. Perceived environment was assessed using a five-item questionnaire on home fitness equipment, access to facilities, neighborhood safety, enjoyable scenery, and frequency of observing others exercising. Physical activity, assessed via the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Elderly Japanese, was segregated into levels based on the median score. Data from 249 participants (74.2 ± 6.9 years) were analyzed. A logistic regression analysis found that the unenjoyable Scenery × Residing in restoration public housing interaction (odds ratio = 3.87, 95% confidence interval = [1.20, 12.46]) was significant. The association between enjoyable scenery and physical activity varied according to whether the participants had experienced evacuation or not.

Open access

Daniel Boullosa, Marco Beato, Antonio Dello Iacono, Francisco Cuenca-Fernández, Kenji Doma, Moritz Schumann, Alessandro Moura Zagatto, Irineu Loturco and David G. Behm

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Catherine Carty, Hidde P. van der Ploeg, Stuart J.H. Biddle, Fiona Bull, Juana Willumsen, Lindsay Lee, Kaloyan Kamenov and Karen Milton

Background: The World Health Organization has released the first global public health guidelines on physical activity and sedentary behavior for people living with disability. This paper presents the guidelines, related processes, and evidence, and elaborates upon how the guidelines can support inclusive policy, practice, and research. Methods: Methods were consistent with the World Health Organization protocols for developing guidelines. Systematic reviews of the evidence on physical activity for health for people living with disability were appraised, along with a consideration of the evidence used to inform the general 2020 World Health Organization guidelines. Results: Evidence supported the development of recommendations for people living with disability, stressing that there are no major risks to engaging in physical activity appropriate to an individual’s current activity level, health status, and physical function, and that the health benefits accrued generally outweigh the risks. They also emphasize the benefits of limiting sedentary behavior. Conclusions: The guidelines mark a positive step forward for disability inclusion, but considerable effort is needed to advance the agenda. This paper highlights key considerations for the implementation of the new recommendations for people living with disability, in line with the human rights agenda underpinning the Global Action Plan on Physical Activity 2018–2030 and allied policies.

Open access

Dean Barker, Mikael Quennerstedt, Anna Johansson and Peter Korp

Aim: To provide insight into how physical education teachers use discursive resources related to obesity to create particular professional identities. Method: Data come from focus group and individual interviews with physical education teachers in Sweden. Discourse theory on teacher identities frame the analysis of the empirical material. Results: Data suggest that teachers in Sweden make use of six distinct but related discursive contributions to produce three professional identities: the caring practitioner, an identity concerned with ensuring all pupils irrespective of size participate in physical education; the activity luminary, an identity that focuses on inspiring pupils toward activity across the lifespan, and; the body rationalist, an identity concerned with challenging unrealistic media discourses and reassuring pupils that they have “normal” bodies. Discussion: The identities appear more inclusive, sensitive, and critical than current physical education literature on obesity suggests, however they also contain elements that are fundamentally unsympathetic to overweight individuals.

Open access

Motoko Taguchi, Akiko Hara, Hiroko Murata, Suguru Torii and Takayuki Sako

For athletes to gain body mass, especially muscle, an increase in energy consumption is necessary. To increase their energy intake, many athletes consume more meals, including supplementary meals or snacks. However, the influence of meal frequency on changes in body composition and appetite is unclear. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of meal frequency on changes in body composition and appetite during weight gain in athletes through a well-controlled dietary intervention. Ten male collegiate rowers with weight gain goals were included in this study. The subjects were randomly classified into two groups, and dietary intervention was implemented using a crossover method. During the intervention period, all subjects were provided identical meals aimed to provide a positive energy balance. The meals were consumed at a frequency of either three times (regular frequency) or six times (high frequency) a day. Body composition was measured using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, and the visual analog scale was used for the evaluation of appetite. In both trials, body weight, fat-free mass, and fat mass significantly increased; however, an interaction (Trial × Time) was not observed. Visual analog scale did not vary between trials. Our data suggest that partitioning identical excess dietary intakes over three or six meals does not influence changes in body composition or appetite during weight gain in athletes.

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María Morales-Suárez-Varela, Eva Clemente-Bosch, Isabel Peraita-Costa, Agustín Llopis-Morales, Isabel Martínez and Agustín Llopis-González

Background: The practice of physical exercise during pregnancy has benefits for both the mother and baby. Currently, there is scientific evidence that supports the inclusion of a monitored physical activity program in the daily activities of pregnant women. The objective of this study is to provide an overview of the current status of the association between physical activity during pregnancy and the effects on the mother and the newborn. Methods: A systematic review of the literature, assessing each study using the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network, from different databases PubMed, Embase, or ScienceDirect, on the association between maternal physical activity and its effects on the mother and the newborn published from 2010 until 2018 was conducted. Results: About 25 studies were identified and divided into categories according to the health problems affecting the mother or newborn. It was found that 8% of all the studies received a grade B, 68% obtained a grade C, and the remaining 24% obtained less than a grade C. Improved cardiovascular function, decreased risk of gestational diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and the limitation of weight gain are among the benefits to the mother with lower percentage of body fat, increased gestational age, and potentially improved neurodevelopment as benefits for the child. Conclusions: The realization of physical activity during pregnancy is supported by most of the studies reviewed. However, given the vulnerability of the studied populations, more studies on the association between physical activity and pregnancy are necessary.