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Mohammad Moniruzzaman, Aya Kadota, Akihiko Shiino, Akira Fujiyoshi, Takahiro Ito, Ali Haidar Syaifullah, Naoko Miyagawa, Keiko Kondo, Takashi Hisamatsu, Hiroyoshi Segawa, Ikuo Tooyama, Hirotsugu Ueshima, Katsuyuki Miura, and for the SESSA Research Group

Background: To investigate the association between step counts and brain volumes (BVs)—global and 6 a priori selected cognition-related regions of interest—in Japanese men aged 40–79 years. Methods: The authors analyzed data from 680 cognitively intact participants of the Shiga Epidemiological Study of Subclinical Atherosclerosis—a population-based observational study. Using multivariable linear regression, the authors assessed cross-sectional associations between 7-day step counts at baseline (2006–2008) and BVs at follow-up (2012–2015) for age-stratified groups (<60 y and ≥60 y). Results: In the older adults ≥60 years, step counts at baseline (per 1000 steps) were associated with total BV at follow-up (β = 1.42, P = .022) while adjusted for potential covariates. Regions of interest-based analyses yielded an association of step counts with both prefrontal cortexes (P < .05) in older adults, while the left entorhinal cortex showed marginally significant association (P = .05). No association was observed with hippocampus, parahippocampal, cingulum, and cerebellum. No association was observed in younger adults (<60 y). Conclusions: The authors found a positive association between 7-day step counts and BVs, including prefrontal cortexes, and left entorhinal cortex in apparently healthy Japanese men.

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Chiaki Tanaka, Akira Kyan, Minoru Takakura, Tim Olds, Natasha Schranz, and Shigeho Tanaka

Background: An international physical activity (PA) questionnaire is beneficial to make cross-country comparisons among children and adolescents. This study assesses the validity of the PA questions in the World Health Organization Health Behavior in School-Aged Children (WHO HBSC) survey in Japanese children and adolescents. Methods: Participants were fifth- to sixth-grade Japanese primary school students (67 students aged 10.8 [0.5] y) and first- to third-grade junior high school students (108 students aged 13.0 [0.7] y). The Japanese version of the PA questions in the WHO HBSC (WHO HBSC-J) was used. To assess the validity of the PA questions, the authors used a partial correlation adjusted for sex, age, and relative weight between the answers to the survey questions and objectively measured moderate to vigorous PA (MVPA) by an accelerometer. Results: A significant positive correlation was found between accelerometer-measured MVPA and the number of reported days with at least 60 minutes/day of MVPA in primary school students (r = .39, P = .002) and junior high school students (r = .32, P < .001). Conclusion: The HBSC-J has moderate validity for evaluating MVPA in Japanese primary school and junior high school students.

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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.

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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.

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Marcel Ballin, Peter Nordström, and Anna Nordström

In this cross-sectional study, the authors investigated the associations of objectively measured physical activity (PA) with the prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) in older adults. Accelerometer-derived light-intensity PA, moderate to vigorous PA, and steps per day were measured in (N = 4,652) 70-year-olds in Umeå, Sweden, during May 2012–November 2019. The MetS was assessed according to the American Heart Association/ National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute criteria. The prevalence of MetS was 49.3%. Compared with the reference, the odds ratios for MetS in increasing quartiles of light-intensity PA were 0.91 (0.77–1.09), 0.75 (0.62–0.89), and 0.66 (0.54–0.80). For moderate to vigorous PA, the corresponding odds ratios were 0.79 (0.66–0.94), 0.67 (0.56–0.80), and 0.56 (0.46–0.67). For steps per day, the odds ratios were 0.65 (0.55–0.78), 0.55 (0.46–0.65), and 0.45 (0.36–0.55). In summary, this study shows that greater amounts of PA, regardless of intensity, are associated with lower odds of MetS. With the limitation of being an observational study, these findings may have implications for the prevention of MetS in older adults.

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Elaine M. Ori, Tanya R. Berry, and Lira Yun

It is unknown how lifelong digital media users such as young adult women perceive exercise information found online. A total of 141 women aged 18–30 years and residing in Canada were randomized to read either a factually incorrect or a factually correct blog article. Participants completed Go/No-Go tasks to measure automatically activated believability and evaluations and questionnaires to explicitly measure believability, affective evaluations, and intentions to exercise. Participants did not show evidence of automatically activated believability of the content found in either blog article. However, participants reading the factually correct article reported significantly greater explicit disbelief than those reading the factually incorrect article, though this did not predict intentions. Being factually correct may not be an important component of message believability. Exercise professionals need to remain aware of the content of popular online sources of information in an effort to curb misinformation.

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Rachel Cholerton, Helen Quirk, Jeff Breckon, and Joanne Butt

Adults aged 55+ years are most likely to be inactive, despite research suggesting that older adults experience multiple benefits when participating in physical activity and sport. Limited research focuses on long-term continuation of sport participation in this population, especially in “adapted sports” like walking football. This study explored the experiences of walking football maintenance in 55- to 75-year-old players. Semistructured interviews were conducted, with 17 older adults maintaining walking football play over 6 months. The inductive analysis revealed five higher-order themes representing maintenance influences and two higher-order themes relating to maintenance mechanisms (i.e., the conscious process by which players maintain). Influences when maintaining walking football included individual- and culture-level influences (e.g., perceived benefits of maintenance and ability acceptance). Maintenance mechanisms included cognitions and behaviors (e.g., scheduling sessions and redefining physical activity expectations). Findings highlight novel implications for policy and practice, which are important to consider when delivering walking football to older adults.

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Nicholas L. Holt, Helene Jørgensen, and Colin J. Deal

The purpose of this study was to identify and examine how sport parents engage in autonomy-supportive parenting in the family home setting. A total of 44 parents and children from 19 families were initially interviewed. Data from these families were profiled to identify seven families that adopted a highly autonomy-supportive parenting style. The seven families’ data were then examined using a theoretically focused qualitative analysis using the three dimensions of autonomy-supportive parenting. Sport parents engaged in autonomy support (vs. control) through flexible conversations and supporting decision making. The themes of boundary setting and establishing expectations based on values were indicative of structure. The authors found high levels of involvement across contexts. These findings depict the nature and types of social interactions in the family home that created an autonomy-supportive emotional climate, which often extended to sport, providing a foundation for future theoretical development and applied research in sport.

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Francisco Timbó de Paiva Neto, Gabriel Claudino Budal Arins, Eleonora d’Orsi, and Cassiano Ricardo Rech

This study aims to examine the association between neighborhood environment attributes and changes in walking for transportation among older adults. Longitudinal analysis was performed considering a population-based study (EpiFloripa Idoso), carried out in 2009–2010 with follow-up in 2013–2014. Changes in walking, obtained with the International Physical Activity Questionnaire during both waves were associated with data from the environment perception, evaluated using individual items from the Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale (baseline only) performing multinomial logistic regression. A total of 1,162 older adults (65.2% women, mean age = 73.7 years) participated. Those who reported the presence of parks and squares (OR = 2.44, 95% confidence interval [CI; 1.70, 3.51]), sidewalks (OR = 1.66, 95% CI [1.03, 2.70]), crosswalks (OR = 1.69, 95% CI [1.05, 2.72]), illuminated streets (OR = 2.80, 95% CI [1.24, 6.33]), and safety for day walks (OR = 1.93, 95% CI [1.14, 3.24]) were more likely to remain active or become active when commuting (≥150 min/week). Older adults are more active in neighborhoods that present more favorable attributes regarding walking for transportation.

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Stephen Shannon, Garry Prentice, and Gavin Breslin

Basic psychological needs theory is limited by variable-centered studies focused on linear relationships between perceived needs-supportive/controlling coach behaviors. Therefore, latent profile analysis was used to determine if heterogenous profiles emerged from the interactive effects of needs-supportive and -controlling coach behaviors and the subsequent association with sport-specific mental health outcomes (i.e., burnout and subjective vitality). A total of 685 athletes took part (age = 23.39 years, male = 71%), and the latent profile analysis revealed five novel, diverse profiles, labeled as “supportive-developmental,” “needs-indifferent,” “overly critical,” “harsh-controlling,” and “distant-controlling” coaches. The profiles predicted significant mental health variance (adjusted R2 = .15–.24), wherein the “supportive-developmental” profile scored most favorably on 90% of the outcomes. The largest mean differences were observed against the “harsh-controlling” (n = 5), “overly critical” (n = 3), and “distant controlling” (n = 2) profiles. Overall, latent profile analysis revealed substantial nuance in athletes’ social contexts, predicting variance in mental health. Needs-supportive interventions are needed for “overly critical,” “harsh controlling,” and “distant controlling” athlete profiles.