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Open access

Dimensions of Physical Activity Are Important in Managing Anxiety in Older Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Esther Frema Ofosu, Len de Nys, Jenni Connelly, Gemma Cathrine Ryde, and Anna C. Whittaker

Physical activity (PA) is a known approach for managing anxiety symptoms in older adults. This systematic review and meta-analysis address the benefits of PA and its dimensions (frequency, session time, type, and intervention period) on anxiety symptoms in older adults aged 65 years and above. Searches covered eight databases reporting eight randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and five non-RCTs. Meta-analysis of RCTs (standardized mean difference = −0.41; 95% confidence interval [−0.58, −0.24]; p < .00001) and Fisher’s method of combining p values for non-RCTs supported the effectiveness of PA for managing anxiety symptoms in older adults. Subgroup analysis revealed significant effects for all PA types, session times, frequency, and intervention periods compared with control groups, albeit with different magnitudes of effect. In conclusion, although some dimensions of PA contribute to its effectiveness for anxiety, PA intensity and mode required to maximize PA effects remain unclear.

Free access

Introduction From the New Editors

Lindsay S. Nagamatsu and Patricia C. Heyn

Open access

The Assessment of Acute Chorioretinal Changes Due to Intensive Physical Exercise in Senior Elite Athletes

Irén Szalai, Anita Csorba, Tian Jing, Endre Horváth, Edit Bosnyák, István Györe, Zoltán Zsolt Nagy, Delia Cabrera DeBuc, Miklós Tóth, and Gábor Márk Somfai

Regular physical exercise is known to lower the incidence of age-related eye diseases. We aimed to assess the acute chorioretinal alterations in older adults following intense physical strain. Seventeen senior elite athletes were recruited who underwent an aerobic exercise on a cycle ergometer and macular scanning by optical coherence tomography. A significant thinning of the entire retina was observed 1 min after exercise, followed by a thickening at 5 min, after which the thickness returned to baseline. This trend was similar in almost every single retinal layer, although a significant change was observed only in the inner retina. Choroidal thickness changes were neither significant nor did they correlate with the thickness changes of intraretinal layers. The mechanism of how these immediate retinal changes chronically impact age-related sight-threatening pathologies that, in turn, result in a substantially reduced quality of life warrants further investigation on nontrained older adults as well.

Open access

“To Be Moving Is to Be Alive”: A Walk-Along Study Describing Older Public Housing Tenants’ Perceptions of Physical Activity

Kadia Saint-Onge, Paquito Bernard, Célia Kingsbury, and Janie Houle

Few studies have focused on older public housing tenants’ perceptions of physical activity. Greater understanding of how they define, appreciate, and engage in physical activity could lead to better targeted promotion and reduced health inequalities for this subgroup of the population. We conducted 26 walk-along interviews with older public housing tenants in Montreal (Canada). Tenants were aged 60–93 years and lived in either one of three study sites including a commercial, a residential, and a mixed land-use area. Physical activity was described as a multidimensional construct through six interdependent dimensions: physiological, emotional, interpersonal, occupational, intellectual, and existential. Participants perceived physical activity as having potential for both well-being and ill-being. Perceptions of physical activity were a function of age, physical capacity, gender, culture, revenue, and relation to community. These results support using a life-course perspective and a broader definition in promoting physical activity to older public housing tenants.

Open access

Reflections on 30 Years of Service to the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity Editorial Board

Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko

Open access

Effectiveness and Benefits of Exercise on Older People Living With Mental Illness’ Physical and Psychological Outcomes in Regional Australia: A Mixed-Methods Study

Gabrielle McNamara, Caroline Robertson, Tegan Hartmann, and Rachel Rossiter

Regular exercise is reported to improve depressive symptoms and quality of life for people experiencing mental illness. For older adults, including strength and balance can also decrease falls. Mental health services seldom include funding for Accredited Exercise Physiologist programs. A 9-week Accredited Exercise Physiologist-led program for older adults receiving mental health treatment with a community Older People’s Mental Health Service was trialed in regional Australia. This clinician-conceived small-scale feasibility study utilized a two-phase concurrent triangulation mixed-method design to evaluate physical and psychological program outcomes and identify factors related to engaging in physical activity. This tailored exercise program led to improvements in measures of psychological distress and physical and psychological function. These changes corresponded with participants identifying benefits of exercising as a group of adults living with mental illness. Such findings suggest a supervised, individualized program for older mental health consumers confers physical and psychological benefits; however, further research evaluating exercise interventions with this population is required.

Open access

Physical Activity Level of Physically Independent Older Adults in a Densely Populated City

Linda Yin-king Lee, Rebecca Cho-kwan Pang, and Mimi Mei-ha Tiu

The aim of this study was to estimate older adults’ physical activity level in all types and categories of physical activities and calculate their total physical activity level. This cross-sectional descriptive study estimated the physical activity level of older adults on a quota sample of 500 physically independent older adults living in a densely populated city (in this case, Hong Kong). It used the Physical Activity Questionnaire (Hong Kong version) to assess participants’ physical activity level. Based on the frequency, duration, and intensity of each type of physical activity being performed by the participants, their physical activity level in terms of energy expenditure (in kilocalories per day) for all types and categories of physical activities and the total physical activity level were calculated. Independent t test or analysis of variance, whatever appropriate, was used to examine the difference in the total physical activity level between participants with different individual characteristics. Linear regression analysis was conducted to determine the contribution of individual characteristics to the total physical activity level (p < .05). Results indicated that the participants mostly engaged in leisurely sitting, watching television, listening to radio, and leisurely walking. They spent the greatest amount of energy on the category of “leisure activity” (710.77 kcal/day). Their total physical activity level was 1,727.09 kcal/day, which was much less than previously reported. Linear regression indicates that age accounted for 3.1% of the variance of the total physical activity level (p = .001) with senior older adults warranting additional support. Future research is suggested to confirm the role of specific neighborhood-level factors on the physical activity performance of older adults.

Open access

Erratum. The Effect of Age and Fall History on Lower Extremity Neuromuscular Function During Descent of a Single Transition Step

Open access

Strength and Balance in Recreational Golfers and Non-Golfers Aged 65–79 Years in Community Settings

David A. Wilson, Simon Brown, Paul E. Muckelt, Martin B. Warner, Sandra Agyapong-Badu, Danny Glover, Andrew D. Murray, Roger A. Hawkes, and Maria Stokes

Inactive older adults tend to have decreased strength and balance compared with their more active peers. Playing golf has the potential to improve strength and balance in older adults. The aim of the study was to compare the strength and balance of recreational golfers with non-golfers, aged 65–79 years. Grip strength, single leg balance, and Y Balance Test (YBT) were assessed. Golfers (n = 57) had significantly (right, p = .042; left, p = .047) higher maximal grip strength, than non-golfers (n = 17). Single leg stance times were significantly longer in golfers (right, p = .021; left, p = .001). Normalized YBT reach distances were significantly greater for golfers than non-golfers for composite, posteromedial, and posterolateral directions on both right and left legs. Playing golf appears to be associated with better grip and both static and dynamic balance in 65–79 year olds, indicating that a study of the effects of playing golf is warranted through a larger, fully powered, longitudinal study.

Open access

Virtual Special Issue: Tai Chi

Samuel R. Nyman