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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.

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Suguru Ando, Yumi Higuchi, Tomomi Kitagawa, Tatsunori Murakami and Emiko Todo

This study examined whether the number of steps taken by frail older adults increased after two types of interventions (custom-made daily routine [CDR] vs. exercise) were conducted over 12 weeks. The participants were 36 frail older adults aged 84.5 ± 6.0 years who attended a day-care center. They were assigned to one of three groups: CDR (n = 13), home-based exercise (HE, n = 10), or control (CON, n = 13). A wrist-worn accelerometer was used to measure their step count in 24 hr for 6 days. The CDR group demonstrated a daily step count change of approximately 25%, which was significantly higher than that of the CON group (effect size [r] = .51, p = .040). There were no significant changes in the HE group. Thus, a CDR might be useful for increasing the number of steps in frail older adults.

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Allison Naber, Whitney Lucas Molitor, Andy Farriell, Kara Honius and Brooke Poppe

This study aimed to determine the feasibility of an occupational therapy intervention to address sedentary behavior and pain among older adults residing in assisted living facilities. A single group pretest and posttest design was implemented using the Sedentary Behavior Questionnaire, actigraphy technology, and daily activity logs to measure sedentary behavior. The Short-Form McGill Pain Questionnaire was used to assess pain. Occupational therapy intervention focused on individualized goals related to participation in meaningful physical activities, which were established in collaboration with the participant and were tracked for 3 weeks. A total of 12 participants were recruited for this study. The mean number of steps and daily calories burned over the course of a week increased by 3,058.3 steps (30.82%) and 57.64 calories (19.96%), respectively. Individualized goal setting may have a positive impact on the reduction of pain and increasing activity levels among older adults residing in assisted living facilities.

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Melissa E. Hay and Denise M. Connelly

Physical inactivity and chronic back pain are prevalent among older adults; however, there are individuals who persist in exercising despite daily pain. This research explored the meaning of exercise in the lives of older adults with chronic back pain. Hermeneutic phenomenology, valuing everyday experiences and highlighting meaning, was employed. Individual in-depth interviews with 10 adults aged 65 years and older gathered rich descriptions of their experiences. Data collection and analyses were iterative processes. The experience of exercise was inextricably connected with older adults’ chronic back pain. The essence of embodied relief from pain offered by exercise was considered through themes reflecting the restoration of existential coherence—enjoying exercise experiences, social engagement, gratitude, learned latitudes, maintaining mobility, and aging. Understanding that older adults can live in their bodies pain-free for some time with regular physical activity may endorse adherence to exercise participation for maintained or improved well-being.

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Sharon Hetherington, Paul Swinton, Tim Henwood, Justin Keogh, Paul Gardiner, Anthony Tuckett, Kevin Rouse and Tracy Comans

In this article, the authors assessed the cost-effectiveness of center-based exercise training for older Australians. The participants were recipients of in-home care services, and they completed 24 weeks of progressive resistance plus balance training. Transport was offered to all participants. A stepped-wedge randomized control trial produced pre-, post-, and follow-up outcomes and cost data, which were used to calculate incremental cost-effectiveness ratios per quality-adjusted life year gained. Analyses were conducted from a health provider perspective and from a government perspective. From a health-service provider perspective, the direct cost of program provision was $303 per person, with transport adding an additional $1,920 per person. The incremental cost–utility ratio of the program relative to usual care was $70,540 per quality-adjusted life year over 6 months, decreasing to $37,816 per quality-adjusted life year over 12 months. The findings suggest that Muscling Up Against Disability offers good value for the money within commonly accepted threshold values.

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Ece Acar, Tamer Çankaya and Serkan Öner

Trunk muscles are required for safety of movement in aging. The authors aimed to investigate the relationship between trunk muscle thickness and the static postural balance in older adults. A total of 31 females and 23 males with a mean age of 73.39 ± 6.09 completed the study. The thickness of the trunk muscles was determined with ultrasound imaging. Postural balance was assessed with force plate. There was a positive weak correlation between right and left upper rectus abdominis muscle thickness and anterior stability area (p < .05, r > .3). The negative and moderate correlation was determined between the left lower rectus abdominis and the perturbated stability sway value (p < .01, r > .5). The increase in trunk muscle thickness in older adults increases the postural stability area and decreases the postural sway especially in the mediolateral direction.

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Chevelle M.A. Davis, Tetine L. Sentell, Juliana Fernandes de Souza Barbosa, Alban Ylli, Carmen-Lucia Curcio and Catherine M. Pirkle

Physical activity (PA) among older adults is understudied in middle-income countries. The authors examined the associations of factors across levels of the social ecological model (individual, interpersonal, organizational, and community) with older adults meeting guidelines of 150 min of moderate- to vigorous-intensity PA per week through walking in three middle-income countries: Albania (n = 387), Colombia (n = 404), and Brazil (n = 402). Using 2012 International Mobility in Aging Study data, multivariate logistic regression models identified the following significant associations with meeting PA guidelines through walking (a) individual level: depression (odds ratio [OR] = 0.62, 95% confidence interval, CI [0.45, 0.86]), being female (OR = 0.74, 95% CI [0.56, 0.998]), and high relative education (OR = 1.79, 95% CI [1.33, 2.41]) and (b) interpersonal level: high life partner (OR = 1.38, 95% CI [1.04, 1.83]) and friend social ties (OR = 1.39, 95% CI [1.05, 1.83]). While individual and interpersonal variables were associated with meeting PA guidelines, community-level social and environmental variables were not.