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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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Ibrahim M. Altubasi

The purposes of this study were first to examine the association between aging and both the magnitude and asymmetry in the femoral neck-shaft angle (NSA). The second purpose was to determine the effects of both the magnitude and NSA asymmetry on the performance of functional activities in healthy individuals. Fifty-one subjects participated in this study. The femoral NSA was measured on computed tomography scout images. The participants performed four performance tests. Four hierarchical regression models were constructed to explore the effect of each predictor on the outcomes. Aging was associated with NSA asymmetry, but not with the degree of NSA. Age contributed significantly to the variability of all functional performance tests except the 10-m walking speed. The degree of the NSA did not contribute to the prediction of the functional performance tests. However, asymmetry in the NSA added significantly to the prediction of all functional performance tests except the 10-m walking speed.

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Thiago Correa Porto Gonçalves, Atila Alexandre Trapé, Jhennyfer Aline Lima Rodrigues, Simone Sakagute Tavares and Carlos Roberto Bueno Junior

The β2 adrenergic receptor (β2-AR) plays an important role in vascular smooth muscle. However, the interaction between Arg16Gly and Gln27Glu β2-AR polymorphisms, and exercise training has not yet been established. This study evaluated the influence of these β2-AR polymorphisms on body composition, aerobic capacity, blood pressure, lipid profile, nitric oxide, and redox status at baseline and in response to an exercise program in women aged 50–79 years. Genotype and haplotypes were analyzed in association with the previously mentioned variables before and after the multicomponent training (12 weeks, 2 sessions/week, 90 min/session, and exercise intensity between 13 and 15 on the Borg scale). Individuals who carry β2-AR Arg16Arg/Gln27Gln genotypes presented more improvements in blood pressure, body composition, aerobic capacity, and redox status in response to a multicomponent training program compared with individuals who do not carry this haplotype. In some years, the genetic profile may be used to predict which exercise program can induce more health benefits for each person.

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Lotta Palmberg, Erja Portegijs, Taina Rantanen, Eeva Aartolahti, Anne Viljanen, Mirja Hirvensalo and Merja Rantakokko

Background: Many older people report a willingness to increase outdoor physical activity (PA), but no opportunities for it, a situation termed as unmet PA need. The authors studied whether lower neighborhood mobility and PA precede the development of unmet PA need. Methods: Community-dwelling 75- to 90-year-old people (n = 700) were interviewed annually for 2 years. Unmet PA need, neighborhood mobility, and PA were self-reported. In addition, accelerometer-based step counts were assessed among a subgroup (n = 156). Results: Logistic regression analyses revealed that lower baseline neighborhood mobility (odds ratio 3.02, 95% confidence interval [1.86, 4.90] vs. daily) and PA (odds ratio 4.37, 95% confidence interval [2.62, 7.29] vs. high) were associated with the development of unmet PA need over 2 years. The participants with higher step counts had a lower risk for unmet PA need (odds ratio 0.68, 95% confidence interval, [0.54, 0.87]). Conclusion: Maintaining higher PA levels and finding solutions for daily outdoor mobility, especially for those with declines in health, may protect from the development of unmet PA need.

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Julien Louis, Fabrice Vercruyssen, Olivier Dupuy and Thierry Bernard

Master athletes are often considered exemplars of successful aging, thanks to their capacity to maintain a high sports performance during their entire life. A high training capacity, regular participation in sporting competitions, and delayed alterations in body composition and physiological capacities have been listed among the main factors contributing to impressive master athletes’ performances. However, there is a paucity of data on the metabolism and dietary habits of master athletes, and the question of whether they need to adapt their nutrition to the aging process remains open. Herein, the authors presented a contemporary overview of the metabolic challenges associated with aging, including the risk of low energy availability, anabolic resistance, and periods of metabolic crisis due to forced immobilization. After assembling scientific evidence to show that master athletes must adapt their dietary intake, the authors proposed a summary of nutritional recommendations for master athletes and suggested the next stage of research.

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Juliessa M. Pavon, Richard J. Sloane, Carl F. Pieper, Cathleen S. Colón-Emeric, David Gallagher, Harvey J. Cohen, Katherine S. Hall, Miriam C. Morey, Midori McCarty, Thomas L. Ortel and Susan N. Hastings

This study describes the availability of physical activity information in the electronic health record, explores how electronic health record documentation correlates with accelerometer-derived physical activity data, and examines whether measured physical activity relates to venous thromboembolism (VTE) prophylaxis use. Prospective observational data comes from community-dwelling older adults admitted to general medicine (n = 65). Spearman correlations were used to examine association of accelerometer-based daily step count with documented walking distance and with duration of VTE prophylaxis. Only 52% of patients had documented walking in nursing and/or physical therapy/occupational therapy notes during the first three hospital days. Median daily steps recorded via accelerometer was 1,370 (interquartile range = 854, 2,387) and correlated poorly with walking distance recorded in physical therapy/occupational therapy notes (median 33 feet/day [interquartile range = 12, 100]; r = .24; p = .27). Activity measures were not associated with use or duration of VTE prophylaxis. VTE prophylaxis use does not appear to be directed by patient activity, for which there is limited documentation.

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Rajni Rai, Michelle I. Jongenelis, Ben Jackson, Robert U. Newton and Simone Pettigrew

Retirement has been identified as a life transition that is important in determining older adults’ physical activity levels. The present study examined the factors associated with retirement that affect physical activity participation among older adults. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 425 retired Australians aged 60 years and older. Physical activity was assessed objectively, using accelerometers. Two categories of factors affecting physical activity participation following retirement were identified: the various physical and psychological changes in later life that can encourage or discourage physical activity and the adaptation processes undertaken by older people in response to these changes. The adoption of either a gain or loss approach to retirement and aging appeared to be the most influential adaptation factor affecting physical activity participation. The results suggest that intervention approaches should aim to foster more positive attitudes to aging and retirement and promote physical activity at all stages in life.

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Kazuhiro Harada, Kouhei Masumoto, Ai Fukuzawa, Michiko Touyama, Koji Sato, Narihiko Kondo and Shuichi Okada

This study examined whether satisfaction with social interactions and the number of people interacted with during walking groups is associated with affective responses among older adults. Twenty-six older adults were asked to participate in five walking group sessions. The participants walked together for 40–50 min. In every session, the participants reported their affective responses to walking (positive engagement, tranquility, and negative affect), their level of satisfaction with the social interactions experienced, and the number of people interacted with during the walk. The available data were from 107 person-sessions. Multilevel models revealed that, although a higher number of people interacted with was not significantly associated with improvements in any affective responses, higher satisfaction with the interactions was significantly associated with improvements in positive engagement at both the within- and between-person levels. This study found that higher satisfaction with the interactions was associated with desirable affective responses among older adults.

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Brad J. Stenner, Amber D. Mosewich and Jonathan D. Buckley

Golf is a popular sport for older adults, and is therefore an important source of physical activity. This study investigated the reasons for golf participation in an older population using the Golf Participation Questionnaire for Older Adults. The participants (N = 3,262, 82.5% male) completed the questionnaire online. The most important reasons for participation were fun, a pleasant playing environment, and competition, with reasons related to health being relatively less important. The female participants rated fun, a pleasant playing environment, and a feeling that participation made them part of a community as more important reasons for participating than males. Although health-related factors were identified as important reasons for golf participation in older adults, non-health-related factors were also more important. Strategies to promote golf participation by older adults, as a means of increasing physical activity, should emphasize aspects related to fun, a pleasant playing environment, and engagement in competition.

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Mieko Yokozuka, Chie Miki, Makoto Suzuki and Rieko Katsura

This study aimed to explore the relationship between toe flexor strength and the daily activity levels in 56 Japanese older women aged between 70 and 88 years. The activity levels were measured as the average number of steps/day using a pedometer and the life space assessment (LSA) scores. The Mann–Whitney U test was used to compare toe flexor muscle strength and the LSA scores between those with fewer than and more than 6,000 steps/day. Spearman’s correlation coefficient was used to investigate the relationship between toe grip strength according to age and each variable. The LSA scores were significantly higher in the group with >6,000 steps/day (β = 0.188, p < .05). A correlation was found between the number of steps/day and toe flexor strength (r = .424, β = 0.419, p < .05) and the LSA scores (r = .417, β = 0.435, p < .05) in the participants in their 80s. Increasing the number of steps/day may benefit women in their 80s.