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Marie-Pier McSween, Katie L. McMahon, Kylie Maguire, Jeff S. Coombes, Amy D. Rodriguez, Kirk I. Erickson, and David A. Copland

Recent studies show positive effects of acute exercise on language learning in young adults with lower baseline learning abilities; however, this is yet to be investigated in older adults. This study investigated the acute effects of different exercise intensities on new word learning in healthy older adults with lower and higher baseline learning abilities. Sixty older adults (mean age = 66.4 (4.6); 43 females) performed either a single bout of stretching exercise, moderate-intensity continuous exercise, or high-intensity interval exercise followed by a word learning task. In lower baseline learners, between-group differences were observed on immediate new word recall success, with the moderate-intensity continuous exercise group performing better than the stretching group. These findings suggest immediate benefits of moderate-intensity continuous exercise that are limited to word learning performance of older adults with lower baseline learning abilities. Further investigation into underlying mechanisms could lead to a better understanding of individual differences in responding to acute exercise.

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Pauline Manon Genin, Céline Lambert, Benjamin Larras, Bruno Pereira, Jean-François Toussaint, Julien Steven Baker, Angelo Tremblay, David Thivel, and Martine Duclos

Background: The French National Observatory for Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviors conducted a national survey aiming to evaluate the potential effects of confinement on the population’s physical activity levels and sedentary behaviors. Methods: In close collaboration with the French Ministry of Sports and a selected expert committee, 3 different questionnaires investigating 3 subgroup populations were included in the survey: (1) children, (2) adolescents, and (3) adults. Results: Forty-two percentage of children, 58.7% of adolescents, 36.4% of adults, and 39.2% of older people had reduced physical activity levels. Particularly, active transportation and endurance practices showed a significant decrease, while domestic, muscular strengthening, and flexibility activities increased. Sitting time and screen time increased, respectively, in 36.3% and 62.0% of children, 25.5% and 69.0% in adolescents, 24.6% and 41.0% in adults, and 36.1% and 32.1% in seniors. Conclusion: The COVID-19 confinement period led to important modifications in individual movement behaviors at all ages, particularly favoring decreased physical activity and increased sedentariness. These findings suggest that the authors need to inform and encourage people to maintain and improve their physical activities and to change their sedentary time habits during postconfinement and during the period of a potential future lockdown.

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Sara Almeida, Cátia Paixão, Madalena Gomes da Silva, and Alda Marques

The objective of this study was to explore the feasibility and preliminary effectiveness of the Lifestyle-Integrated Functional Exercise for People with Dementia (LiFE4D) on health-related physical fitness, cognitive function, physical activity, and respiratory and upper limb functions. A randomized controlled pilot study was conducted (control group: usual care; experimental group: usual care and LiFE4D). The feasibility of LiFE4D was determined considering recruitment, protocol acceptability, adherence, and safety. Measures of health-related physical fitness, cognitive function, physical activity, and respiratory and upper limb functions were assessed at the baseline and 3 months. Twelve participants (8 [66.7%] female, 82 [72.2–84] years) were included, six per group. Recruitment was challenging. LiFE4D was acceptable with excellent adherence and no major adverse events. Cardiorespiratory endurance (effect size = 1.64, 95% confidence interval [CI; 0.33, 2.95]) and balance (effect size = 1.46, 95% CI [0.19, 2.73]) improved after LiFE4D. LiFE4D seems to be feasible and safe, and it shows potential to significantly improve the health-related physical fitness of people with dementia.

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Jacob Szeszulski, Kevin Lanza, Erin E. Dooley, Ashleigh M. Johnson, Gregory Knell, Timothy J. Walker, Derek W. Craig, Michael C. Robertson, Deborah Salvo, and Harold W. Kohl III

Background: Multiple models and frameworks exist for the measurement and classification of physical activity in adults that are applied broadly across populations but have limitations when applied to youth. The authors propose a conceptual framework specifically designed for classifying youth physical activity. Methods: The Youth Physical Activity Timing, How, and Setting (Y-PATHS) framework is a conceptualization of the when (timing), how, and where (setting) of children’s and adolescents’ physical activity patterns. The authors developed Y-PATHS using the design thinking process, which includes 3 stages: inspiration, ideation, and implementation. Results: The Y-PATHS includes 3 major components (timing, how, and setting) and 13 subcomponents. Timing subcomponents include (1) school days: in-school, (2) school days: out-of-school, and (3) nonschool days. How subcomponents include: (1) functional, (2) transportation, (3) organized, and (4) free play. Setting subcomponents include: (1) natural areas, (2) schools, (3) home, (4) recreational facilities, (5) shops and services, and (6) travel infrastructure. Conclusions: The Y-PATHS is a comprehensive classification framework that can help researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to better understand youth physical activity. Specifically, Y-PATHS can help to identify the domains of youth physical activity for surveillance and research and to inform the planning/evaluation of more comprehensive physical activity programming.

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Sara Birch, Torben Bæk Hansen, Maiken Stilling, and Inger Mechlenburg

Background: Pain catastrophizing is associated with pain both before and after a total knee arthroplasty (TKA). However, it remains uncertain whether pain catastrophizing affects physical activity (PA). The aim was to examine the influence of pain catastrophizing on the PA profile, knee function, and muscle mass before and after a TKA. Methods: The authors included 58 patients with knee osteoarthritis scheduled for TKA. Twenty-nine patients had a score >22 on the Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS), and 29 patients had a score <11. PA was measured with a triaxial accelerometer preoperative, 3 months, and 12 months after TKA. Other outcome measures consisted of the Knee Osteoarthritis Outcome Score and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scans. Results: The authors found no difference in PA between patients with a better/low or a worse/high score on the PCS, and none of the groups increased their mean number of steps/day from preoperative to 12 months postoperative. Patients with better/low PCS scores had higher/better preoperative scores on the Knee Osteoarthritis Outcome Score subscales (symptoms, pain, and activity of daily living), and they walked longer in the 6-min walk test. Further, they had lower body mass index, lower percent fat mass, and higher percent muscle mass than patients with worse/high PCS scores both before and after a TKA. Conclusion: Preoperative pain catastrophizing did not influence PA before or after a TKA. Although the patients improved substantially in self-reported knee function, their PA did not increase. This may be important to consider when the clinicians are informing the patients about the expected benefits from the operation.

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Isabel B. Rodrigues, Matteo Ponzano, Debra A. Butt, Joan Bartley, Zahra Bardai, Maureen C. Ashe, Philip D. Chilibeck, Lehana Thabane, John D. Wark, Jackie Stapleton, and Lora M. Giangregorio

Walking is a common activity among older adults. However, the effects of walking on health-related outcomes in people with low bone mineral density (BMD) are unknown. The authors included randomized controlled trials comparing walking to control in individuals aged ≥50 years with low BMD and at risk of fractures. The authors identified 13 randomized controlled trials: nine multicomponent interventions including walking, one that was walking only, and three Nordic walking trials. Most studies had a high risk of bias. Nordic walking may improve the Timed Up-and-Go values (1.39 s, 95% CI [1.00, 1.78], very low certainty). Multicomponent interventions including walking improved the 6-min walk test (39.37 m, 95% CI [21.83, 56.91], very low certainty) and lumbar spine BMD (0.01 g/cm2, 95% CI [0.00, 0.03], low certainty evidence). The effects on quality of life or femoral neck BMD were not significant. There were insufficient data on fractures, falls, or mortality. Nordic walking may improve physical functioning. The effects on other outcomes are less certain; one may need to combine walking with other exercises to be of benefit.

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Tayo Moss, Stephen Samendinger, Norbert L. Kerr, Joseph Cesario, Alan L. Smith, Deborah J. Johnson, and Deborah L. Feltz

The authors describe two research experiments exploring the influence of race on the Köhler motivation gain effect with exercise tasks. Experiment 1 tested whether partner racial dissimilarity affects individual performance. Experiment 2 created a team identity recategorization intervention to potentially counter the influence on performance observed in Experiment 1. White male participants were partnered with either a Black or Asian partner (Experiment 1) or with a Black partner utilizing team names and shirt colors as a team identity recategorization strategy (Experiment 2). Racially dissimilar dyads completed two sets of abdominal plank exercises with a Köhler conjunctive task paradigm (stronger partner; team performance outcome dependent upon the weaker-ability participant’s performance). The results of Experiment 1 suggest attenuation of the previously successful group motivation gain effect in the racially dissimilar condition. The simple recategorization strategy utilized in Experiment 2 appeared to reverse motivation losses under conjunctive-task conditions in racially dissimilar exercise dyads.

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Michael W. Supples, Madison K. Rivard, Rebecca E. Cash, Kirsten Chrzan, Ashish R. Panchal, and Henderson D. McGinnis

Background: Emergency medical services (EMS) professionals demonstrate low adherence to physical activity guidelines and experience a high prevalence of obesity and incidence of injury. The authors investigate the barriers to participating in physical activity among EMS professionals. Methods: The EMS professionals employed by 15 North Carolina EMS agencies were surveyed with validated items. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to estimate the odds (odds ratio, 95% confidence interval) of not meeting physical activity guidelines for each barrier to being active, controlling for age, sex, body mass index category, race/ethnicity, certification and education level, and work hours. Results: A total of 1367 EMS professionals were invited to participate, and 359 complete responses were recorded. Half of the respondents (48.2%) met Centers for Disease Control and Prevention physical activity guidelines. According to standard body mass index categories, 55.9% were obese. There were increased odds of not meeting physical activity guidelines for the following barriers: lack of energy (5.32, 3.12–9.09), lack of willpower (4.31, 2.57–7.22), lack of time (3.55, 2.12–5.94), social influence (3.02, 1.66–5.48), and lack of resources (2.14, 1.12–4.11). The barriers of fear of injury and lack of skill were not associated with meeting physical activity guidelines. Conclusion: Half of EMS professionals did not meet physical activity guidelines, and the majority were obese. Significant associations exist between several modifiable barriers and not meeting physical activity guidelines.

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Satoshi Matsuno, Takuya Yoshiike, Atsushi Yoshimura, Sachiyo Morita, Yusuke Fujii, Motoyasu Honma, Yuji Ozeki, and Kenichi Kuriyama

Although standing plantar perception training (SPPT) may improve standing postural stability, the underlying neural mechanisms remain unclear. The authors investigated the relationship between regional cortical responses to SPPT using a balance pad and training outcomes in 32 older participants (mean ± SD:72.2 ± 6.0, range:60–87). Regional cortical activity was measured in the bilateral supplementary motor area, primary sensorimotor area, and parietal association area using near-infrared spectroscopy. Postural sway changes were compared before and after SPPT. Changes in two-point plantar discrimination and regional cortical activity during SPPT, associated with standing postural stability improvements, were examined using multiple regression and indicated improved standing postural stability after SPPT (p < .0001). Changes in right parietal association area activity were associated with standing postural stability improvements while barefoot. Overall, the results suggest that right parietal association area activation during SPPT plays a crucial role in regulating standing postural stability and may help develop strategies to prevent older adults from falling.

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Jennifer L. Etnier, Jarod C. Vance, and Aiko Ueno

Numerous studies show that exercise benefits memory and some show that acute exercise prior to encoding has larger benefits than exercise after encoding. This study was designed to investigate the effects of acute exercise on memory in middle-aged and older adults (M age = 64.71 years) and to explore the influence of the timing of the exercise on these effects. Using a within-subjects design, moderate-intensity exercise (20 min) was either not performed (control), performed before the task (exercise prior), or performed after the task (exercise post). Memory was assessed using the Rey Auditory Learning Verbal Test. For short- and long-term memory and learning, significantly more words were remembered in the exercise-prior condition than the others. For 24-hr recall, participants remembered significantly more words in the exercise-prior condition than exercise post, which was better than control. Exercise benefits memory for healthy middle-aged and older adults, with the greatest benefits when performed prior to encoding.