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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.

Open access

Sebastien Pollet, James Denison-Day, Katherine Bradbury, Rosie Essery, Elisabeth Grey, Max Western, Fiona Mowbray, Kirsten A. Smith, Joanna Slodkowska-Barabasz, Nanette Mutrie, Paul Little and Lucy Yardley

Purpose: This study explored participant views of a web-based physical activity intervention for older adults and examined how they resonate with the key principles that guided intervention development. Methods: Qualitative interviews were carried out with 52 older adults. A deductive qualitative analysis approach was taken, based around the intervention’s key principles. Results: Participants expressed mostly positive views of the intervention features, broadly confirming the appropriateness of the key principles, which were to: (a) encourage intrinsic motivation for physical activity, (b) minimize the risk of users receiving activity suggestions that are inappropriate or unsafe, (c) offer users choice regarding the activities they engage with and build confidence to undertake more activity, and (d) minimize the cognitive load and need to engage with the intervention website. The findings also identified ways in which content could be improved to further increase acceptability. Conclusion: This study illustrates how using the person-based approach has enabled the identification and implementation of features that older adults appreciate.

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Jongbum Ko, Dalton Deprez, Keely Shaw, Jane Alcorn, Thomas Hadjistavropoulos, Corey Tomczak, Heather Foulds and Philip D. Chilibeck

Background: Aerobic exercise is recommended for reducing blood pressure; however, recent studies indicate that stretching may also be effective. The authors compared 8 weeks of stretching versus walking exercise in men and women with high–normal blood pressure or stage 1 hypertension (ie, 130/85–159/99 mm Hg). Methods: Forty men and women (61.6 y) were randomized to a stretching or brisk walking exercise program (30 min/d, 5 d/wk for 8 wk). Blood pressure was assessed during sitting and supine positions and for 24 hours using a portable monitor before and after the training programs. Results: The stretching program elicited greater reductions than the walking program (P < .05) for sitting systolic (146 [9] to 140 [12] vs 139 [9] to 142 [12] mm Hg), supine diastolic (85 [7] to 78 [8] vs 81 [7] to 82 [7] mm Hg), and nighttime diastolic (67 [8] to 65 [10] vs 68 [8] to 73 [12] mm Hg) blood pressures. The stretching program elicited greater reductions than the walking program (P < .05) for mean arterial pressure assessed in sitting (108 [7] to 103 [6] vs 105 [6] vs 105 [8] mm Hg), supine (102 [9] to 96 [9] vs 99 [6] to 99 [7] mm Hg), and at night (86 [9] to 83 [10] vs 88 [9] to 93 [12] mm Hg). Conclusions: An 8-week stretching program was superior to brisk walking for reducing blood pressure in individuals with high–normal blood pressure or stage 1 hypertension.

Open access

Leila Hedayatrad, Tom Stewart and Scott Duncan

Introduction: Accelerometers are commonly used to assess time-use behaviors related to physical activity, sedentary behavior, and sleep; however, as new accelerometer technologies emerge, it is important to ensure consistency with previous devices. This study aimed to evaluate the concurrent validity of the commonly used accelerometer, ActiGraph GT3X+, and the relatively new Axivity AX3 (fastened to the lower back) for detecting physical activity intensity and body postures when using direct observation as the criterion measure. Methods: A total of 41 children (aged 6–16 years) and 33 adults (aged 28–59 years) wore both monitors concurrently while performing 10 prescribed activities under laboratory conditions. The GT3X+ data were categorized into different physical activity intensity and posture categories using intensity-based cut points and ActiGraph proprietary inclinometer algorithms, respectively. The AX3 data were first converted to ActiGraph counts before being categorized into different physical activity intensity categories, while activity recognition models were used to detect the target postures. Sensitivity, specificity, and the balanced accuracy for intensity and posture category classification were calculated for each accelerometer. Differences in balanced accuracy between the devices and between children and adults were also calculated. Results: Both accelerometers obtained 74–96% balanced accuracy, with the AX3 performing slightly better (∼4% higher, p < .01) for detecting postures and physical activity intensity. Error in both devices was greatest when contrasting sitting/standing, sedentary/light intensity, and moderate/light intensity. Conclusion: In comparison with the GT3X+ accelerometer, AX3 was able to detect various postures and activity intensities with slightly higher balanced accuracy in children and adults.

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Nicholas G. Gomez, Kelton K. Gubler, Kenneth Bo Foreman and Andrew S. Merryweather

The factors that contribute to the difficulties persons with Parkinson Disease (PwPD) have when negotiating transitions in walking surfaces are not completely known. The authors investigated if PwPD adjusted their step characteristics when negotiating a familiar outdoor surface transition between synthetic concrete and synthetic turf. Force plate and motion capture data were collected for 10 participants with mild to moderate Parkinson disease and 5 healthy older control participants ambulating bidirectionally across the transition between synthetic concrete and synthetic turf. Between groups, PwPD had a significantly higher minimum toe clearance (P = .007) for both directions of travel compared with the healthy control group. Within groups, PwPD significantly increased their hip (P < .001) and ankle (P = .016) range of motion walking from concrete to turf, while the healthy control participants significantly increased their minimum toe clearance (P = .013), margin of stability (P = .019), hip (P < .001) and ankle (P = .038) range of motion, and step length (P < .001). Walking from turf to concrete, both the Parkinson disease group (P = .014) and the healthy control group (P < .001) increased their knee range of motion. Both groups adjusted their step characteristics when negotiating known surface transitions, indicating that surface transitions result in step changes regardless of health status. However, PwPD exhibited overcompensations, particularly in their minimum toe clearance.

Open access
Open access

Paddy C. Dempsey, Christine M. Friedenreich, Michael F. Leitzmann, Matthew P. Buman, Estelle Lambert, Juana Willumsen and Fiona Bull

Background: In 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) released global guidelines on physical activity (PA) and sedentary behavior, for the first time providing population-based recommendations for people living with selected chronic conditions. This article briefly presents the guidelines, related processes and evidence, and, importantly, considers how they may be used to support research, practice, and policy. Methods: A brief overview of the scope, agreed methods, selected chronic conditions (adults living with cancer, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and human immunodeficiency virus), and appraisal of systematic review evidence on PA/sedentary behavior is provided. Methods were consistent with World Health Organization protocols for developing guidelines. Results: Moderate to high certainty evidence (varying by chronic condition and outcome examined) supported that PA can reduce the risk of disease progression or premature mortality and improve physical function and quality of life in adults living with chronic conditions. Direct evidence on sedentary behavior was lacking; however, evidence extrapolated from adult populations was considered applicable, safe, and likely beneficial (low certainty due to indirectness). Conclusions: Clinical and public health professionals and policy makers should promote the World Health Organization 2020 global guidelines and develop and implement services and programs to increase PA and limit sedentary behavior in adults living with chronic conditions.

Open access

Shona L. Halson and David T. Martin

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Spencer E. Boyle, Melissa A. Fothergill, John Metcalfe, Sarah Docherty and Crystal F. Haskell-Ramsay

Background: Physical activity provides a number of physical and psychological benefits. Multimodal proprioceptive exercise represents a useful balance-based exercise with the potential to reduce falls in older adults. Previous research has also indicated cognitive benefits following multimodal proprioceptive exercise in young and older adults. This study aimed to assess cognition and mood following 2 types of physical activity (multimodal proprioception vs yoga) compared with control (classroom-based) in healthy older adults. Method: Nineteen older adults (Mage = 65, sex = 9 males) participated in this randomized controlled crossover trial. Participants completed a 20-minute multimodal proprioceptive exercise class, 20-minute yoga session, and 20-minute classroom-based control. Numeric working memory and mood were assessed before and immediately following each of the interventions. Results: The multimodal proprioceptive intervention significantly reduced numeric working memory reaction time versus the yoga (P = .043) and control (P = .023) group. There were no differences found for accuracy or mood. Conclusions: These results indicate that multimodal proprioceptive exercise is worthy of further investigation as an alternative mode of exercise alongside the more traditional aerobic and strength-based exercise for healthy older adults.