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Tai Chi Is Safe and Effective for the Hip Joint: A Biomechanical Perspective

Jianwei Duan, Kuan Wang, Tongbo Chang, Lejun Wang, Shengnian Zhang, and Wenxin Niu

There is little research related to the biomechanical effects of Tai Chi on the hip joint. This study was aimed to analyze the biomechanical characteristic of a typical Tai Chi movement, Brush Knee and Twist Step. A total of 12 experienced older men voluntarily participated in this study. Each participant was requested to perform standard Brush Knee and Twist Step and normal walking. The scaled-generic musculoskeletal model of each participant was developed. A finite element model of the hip joint and pelvis was established and validated. Data from each trail were input to the model for simulation, and the biomechanics were compared between Brush Knee and Twist Step and walking. Compared with walking, Tai Chi may have better improvement in the range of motion of the hip joint and the coordination of the neuromuscular system under safer condition. It is suitable for patients with hip osteoarthritis and the older adults with severe muscle loss, and clinical studies are required to confirm it further.

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Motivators and Barriers for Older People Participating in Resistance Training: A Systematic Review

Elissa Burton, Kaela Farrier, Gill Lewin, Simone Pettigrew, Anne-Marie Hill, Phil Airey, Liz Bainbridge, and Keith D. Hill

Regular participation in resistance training is important for older people to maintain their health and independence, yet participation rates are low. The study aimed to identify motivators and barriers to older people participating in resistance training. A systematic review was conducted including quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-method studies. Searches generated 15,920 citations from six databases, with 14 studies (n = 1,937 participants) included. In total, 92 motivators and 24 barriers were identified. Motivators specific to participating in resistance training included preventing deterioration (disability), reducing risk of falls, building (toning) muscles, feeling more alert, and better concentration. Looking too muscular and thinking participation increased the risk of having a heart attack, stroke, or death, despite the minimal likelihood of these occurring, were barriers. The analysis indicates that increasing participation in resistance training among older people should focus on the specific benefits valued by older people and the dissemination of accurate information to counter misperceptions.

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The Efficacy of a Dance Intervention as Cognitive Training for the Old-Old

Helena Kosmat and Andrea Vranic

This research investigates the efficacy of a dance intervention of moderate length (10 weeks, 45 min/week) on a sample of old-old adults living in a residential care setting. The study focused on the effect of the intervention on aspects of cognitive functioning (short-term memory, executive functioning). In addition, changes in general self-efficacy and life satisfaction were investigated. Twenty-four older adults (mean age M = 80.8), with no cognitive impairments, participated in the study. Participants were randomly assigned to two programs: the experimental group attended the dance intervention, while the active control group was involved in an alternative (nondance) program. A pretest, posttest, and follow-up measurement was conducted. A 2 × 3 mixed design ANOVA revealed benefits in short-term memory and executive functioning for the trained group, but not for the active control, and this benefit was maintained at the 5 months follow-up. These results suggest that training procedures, based on dance, could improve cognitive functioning in the old-old.

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Neuropsychological Benefits of Neuro-Exergaming for Older Adults: A Pilot Study of an Interactive Physical and Cognitive Exercise System (iPACES)

Cay Anderson-Hanley, Molly Maloney, Nicole Barcelos, Kristina Striegnitz, and Arthur Kramer

Dementia cases are on the rise and researchers seek innovative ways to prevent or ameliorate cognitive impairment in later life. Some research has reported that combining mental and physical exercise may benefit cognition more than either alone. This randomized pilot trial examined the feasibility and cognitive benefit for older adults (n = 30) of a single bout of neuro-exergaming (physical activity with cognitive training) using an interactive physical and cognitive exercise system (iPACES), compared with that of exergaming or neurogaming alone. Intent-to-treat and sensitivity analyses were conducted using repeated-measures ANOVA, controlling for age, sex, and education. A significant interaction effect was found for executive function (Color Trails 2), with a significant improvement in the neuro-exergaming condition. Results demonstrate feasibility for older adults to use a novel and theoretically-derived neuro-exergame, and also provide promising new evidence that neuro-exergaming can yield greater cognitive benefit than either of its component parts.

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Erratum: Lord (2016)

In the JAPA supplement (JAPA 24[Suppl.], June 2016), which contained the abstracts for the 9th World Congress on Active Ageing, an incorrect abstract appears on page S102. This abstract, “An Australian Unique Way of Addressing the Research—Selling Health and Wellness to the Over 60s with Active Life Weekends”, by B. Lord, was a duplicate of an earlier printed abstract. The correct abstract appears below. We apologize for this error. The online version has been corrected. Lifeball: A Ball Game for the Active Aged Lord, Brian L. Healthy Lifestyle Health Promotion Services; rayna@albury.net.au Introduction: Physical activity has been identified as being critical in maintaining wellbeing into our later years. Physical activity within a social context—with other people, in a group—has been shown to have benefits over and above that gained by activity partaken alone. Participation in team games can improve every aspect of physical fitness, and hence the quality of life for our older adults. Methods: Lifeball is a game based on netball and basketball, but its designer, Colleen Wilson-Lord OAM, has eliminated all their unsafe aspects. Lifeball is now played by over 2,000 people in over 70 centres throughout Australia. With no running, no body contact, no high passes, no bounce passes, and no walking backwards, it is a very safe game, yet it incorporates a great deal of tactical enterprise and is a most inclusive game. Everyone on the team must handle the ball, and certain skills must be performed before a goal can be attempted. Even the goal is novel—it is only eye-height, but is set back from the court by a couple of metres. Six players constitute a team and the playing court is divided into three zones with two players from each team in each zone. One player from each team has a “roving commission”, allowed in two zones (the defensive and centre zone). Another unique rule is that players must change positions at the end of each playing period; this ensures everyone plays in every position during the game. Results: Recent research in Western Australia showed that when people take up Lifeball, there is a positive shift in variables associated with social isolation and loneliness. Other research in New South Wales by the Department of Health showed similar outcomes in socialisation and health—both physical and mental. Conclusion: Despite Lifeball’s simplicity, players feel that it is a “main stream” sport. It looks and feels like a regular sport and so players regard themselves as being part of the recognised fabric of society. Lifeball is the game you play for Life. http://dx.doi.org/10.1123/japa.2016-0210

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Poor Muscle Strength and Low Physical Activity Are the Most Prevalent Frailty Components in Community-Dwelling Older Adults

M. Papiol, M. Serra-Prat, J. Vico, N. Jerez, N. Salvador, M. Garcia, M. Camps, X. Alpiste, and J. López

Objective:

To determine the prevalence of five physical frailty phenotype components and to assess the relationship between them and other clinical factors.

Method:

A population-based cross-sectional study was performed. Subjects 75 years and older were randomly selected from primary care databases (with sampling stratified by gender). Physical frailty phenotypes were assessed using Fried’s criteria. Sociodemographic data, comorbidities, nutritional status, and functional capacity were assessed.

Results:

126 subjects were recruited (47% women). Prevalence rates were poor muscle strength: 50%; low physical activity: 29%; slow gait: 28%; exhaustion: 27%; and weight loss: 5%. Prefrailty and frailty prevalence rates were 35.7% and 29.4%, respectively. Poor muscle strength and low physical activity showed a close relationship and concordance (kappa = 0.92). Most frailty components were associated with outdoor activity, hours walked daily, and certain comorbidities.

Conclusions:

Poor muscle strength was the most prevalent frailty component and was closely associated with physical activity, suggesting that training programs may revert or prevent the frailty process.

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Characterization of Vertical Accelerations Experienced by Older People Attending an Aerobics Class Designed to Produce High Impacts

Kimberly Hannam, Kevin Deere, Sue Worrall, April Hartley, and Jon H. Tobias

The purpose of this study was to establish the feasibility of using an aerobics class to produce potentially bone protective vertical impacts of ≥ 4g in older adults and to determine whether impacts can be predicted by physical function. Participants recruited from older adult exercise classes completed an SF-12 questionnaire, short physical performance battery, and an aerobics class with seven different components, performed at low and high intensity. Maximum g and jerk values were identified for each activity. Forty-one participants (mean 69 years) were included. Mean maximal values approached or exceeded the 4g threshold for four of the seven exercises. In multivariate analyses, age (−0.53; −0.77, −0.28) (standardized beta coefficient; 95% CI) and 4-m walk time (−0.39; −0.63, −0.16) were inversely related to maximum g. Aerobics classes can be used to produce relatively high vertical accelerations in older individuals, although the outcome is strongly dependent on age and physical function.

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Quantifying Habitual Levels of Physical Activity According to Impact in Older People: Accelerometry Protocol for the VIBE Study

Kevin C. Deere, Kimberly Hannam, Jessica Coulson, Alex Ireland, Jamie S. McPhee, Charlotte Moss, Mark H. Edwards, Elaine Dennison, Cyrus Cooper, Adrian Sayers, Matthijs Lipperts, Bernd Grimm, and Jon H. Tobias

Physical activity (PA) may need to produce high impacts to be osteogenic. The aim of this study was to identify threshold(s) for defining high impact PA for future analyses in the VIBE (Vertical Impact and Bone in the Elderly) study, based on home recordings with triaxial accelerometers. Recordings were obtained from 19 Master Athlete Cohort (MAC; mean 67.6 years) and 15 Hertfordshire Cohort Study (HCS; mean 77.7 years) participants. Data cleaning protocols were developed to exclude artifacts. Accelerations expressed in g units were categorized into three bands selected from the distribution of positive Y-axis peak accelerations. Data were available for 6.6 and 4.4 days from MAC and HCS participants respectively, with approximately 14 hr recording daily. Three-fold more 0.5−1.0g impacts were observed in MAC versus HCS, 20-fold more 1.0−1.5g impacts, and 140-fold more impacts ≥ 1.5g. Our analysis protocol successfully distinguishes PA levels in active and sedentary older individuals.

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Self-Selected Walking Speed Is Predictive of Daily Ambulatory Activity in Older Adults

Addie Middleton, George D. Fulk, Michael W. Beets, Troy M. Herter, and Stacy L. Fritz

Daily ambulatory activity is associated with health and functional status in older adults; however, assessment requires multiple days of activity monitoring. The objective of this study was to determine the relative capabilities of self-selected walking speed (SSWS), maximal walking speed (MWS), and walking speed reserve (WSR) to provide insight into daily ambulatory activity (steps per day) in community-dwelling older adults. Sixty-seven older adults completed testing and activity monitoring (age 80.39 [6.73] years). SSWS (R 2 = .51), MWS (R 2 = .35), and WSR calculated as a ratio (R 2 = .06) were significant predictors of daily ambulatory activity in unadjusted linear regression. Cutpoints for participants achieving < 8,000 steps/day were identified for SSWS (≤ 0.97 m/s, 44.2% sensitivity, 95.7% specificity, 10.28 +LR, 0.58 −LR) and MWS (≤ 1.39 m/s, 60.5% sensitivity, 78.3% specificity, 2.79 +LR, 0.50 −LR). SSWS may be a feasible proxy for assessing and monitoring daily ambulatory activity in older adults.

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Taoist Tai Chi® and Memory Intervention for Individuals with Mild Cognitive Impairment

Jennifer N. Fogarty, Kelly J. Murphy, Bruce McFarlane, Manuel Montero-Odasso, Jennie Wells, Angela K. Troyer, Daniel Trinh, Iris Gutmanis, and Kevin T. Hansen

Objective:

It was hypothesized that a combined Taoist Tai Chi (TTC) and a memory intervention program (MIP) would be superior to a MIP alone in improving everyday memory behaviors in individuals with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI). A secondary hypothesis was that TTC would improve cognition, self-reported health status, gait, and balance.

Method:

A total of 48 individuals were randomly assigned to take part in MIP + TTC or MIP alone. The TTC intervention consisted of twenty 90 min sessions. Outcome measures were given at baseline, and after 10 and 22 weeks.

Results:

Both groups significantly increased their memory strategy knowledge and use, ratings of physical health, processing speed, everyday memory, and visual attention. No preferential benefit was found for individuals in the MIP + TTC group on cognition, gait, or balance measures.

Conclusions:

Contrary to expectations, TTC exercise did not specifically improve cognition or physical mobility. Explanations for null findings are explored.