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Tomas Vetrovsky, Dan Omcirk, Jan Malecek, Petr Stastny, Michal Steffl and James J. Tufano

Following a 4-week control period, 24 older men and women (55–91 years) attended a 4-week progressive jumping program to determine whether assisted jumping could be safely and effectively implemented as a novel stimulus in healthy older adults. Bodyweight countermovement jump performance, isometric and isokinetic strength, postural stability, and exercise enjoyment were assessed before the control period, before the training intervention, and after the training intervention. Following the 4-week intervention, eccentric quadriceps strength increased by 19 N·m (95% confidence interval [2, 36], p = .013), bodyweight countermovement jump height increased by 1.7 cm (95% CI [0.5, 2.9], p < .001), postural sway improved by 2.1 mm/s (95% CI [0.3, 4.0], p = .026), and the participants’ perceived exercise enjoyment improved (p = .026). Therefore, using assisted jumping to induce an overspeed training stimulus in a jump training program resulted in similar performance improvements as in previous studies in older populations but with less training volume and a shorter training duration.

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Magdalena Żegleń, Łukasz Kryst, Małgorzata Kowal and Agnieszka Woronkowicz

Background: The aim of this study was to analyze the secular changes of the physical fitness of preschool children from Kraków, Poland between 2008 and 2018. Methods: The study group consisted of 2143 children (3- to 7-y-olds; 2008 cohort included 1037 children and the 2018 cohort included 1106 children). The following physical fitness tests were carried out: overhead medicine ball throw, standing broad jump, sit-and-reach test, and handgrip strength. Statistical differences between the cohorts were obtained using 2-way analysis of variance and Tukey tests. Results: Negative changes were noted for the standing broad jump and its relative results among boys. A negative trend was also observed for flexibility and ball throw. Positive changes were noted for the standing broad jump among girls, as well as the absolute and normalized results of handgrip strength in both sexes. Besides the flexibility, observed discrepancies were practically significant between the age groups. Differences between the cohorts reached practical significance in the case of absolute and normalized handgrip strength. Conclusions: There was at least partial progress in the children’s fitness. Physical fitness, in turn, is one of the most important health markers. Moreover, its low level is a predictor of diseases, including metabolic and cardiovascular ones, lower academic performance, and psychosocial problems.

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Kerem Shuval, Liora Sahar, Kelley Pettee Gabriel, Gregory Knell, Galit Weinstein, Tal Gafni Gal, Felipe Lobelo and Loretta DiPietro

Background: The Rapid Assessment Disuse Index (RADI) is a brief tool aimed to promptly assess primary care patients’ overall physical inactivity and sedentary behavior. This study examines the relation between physical inactivity and sitting time (RADI) to cardiometabolic risk among primary care patients. Methods: Survey data and electronic medical record information were collated to explore the association between RADI scores (cumulative and sitting) to metabolic syndrome (and components) among women and men, using multivariable logistic regression. Results: Among women, the cumulative RADI score was not significantly associated with metabolic syndrome. However, the RADI sitting score was related to low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and metabolic syndrome. That is, a transition to a higher RADI sitting score by 1 unit (vs remaining in the score) was related with a 1.4 and 1.3 times higher odds for having low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (95% confidence interval, 1.05–1.87) and metabolic syndrome (95% confidence interval, 1.02–1.64), respectively. Among men, no significant relations were found. Conclusions: The RADI sitting score is positively and significantly related to high-density lipoprotein and metabolic syndrome among women, yet not men. Due to the RADI’s potential clinical utility, future research should attempt to examine these relations in larger, more robust samples and adjudicated outcomes using a prospective design.

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Abby Haynes, Catherine Sherrington, Geraldine Wallbank, David Lester, Allison Tong, Dafna Merom, Chris Rissel and Anne Tiedemann

The Coaching for Healthy Ageing trial evaluated the impact on physical activity (PA) and falls based on a year-long intervention in which participants aged 60+ receive a home visit, regular health coaching by physiotherapists, and a free activity monitor. This interview study describes the participants’ experiences of the intervention and ideas for improvement. The authors sampled purposively for maximum variation in experiences. The data were analyzed thematically by two researchers. Most of the 32 participants reported that the intervention increased PA levels, embedded activities, and generated positivity about PA. They were motivated by quantified PA feedback, self-directed goals, and person-centered coaching. Social connectivity motivated some, but the intervention did not support this well. The intervention structure allowed participants to trial and embed activities. Autonomy and relatedness were emphasized and should be included in future program theory. The authors identified synergistic effects, likely “essential ingredients,” and potential areas for improving this and similar interventions.

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Alex S. Ribeiro, João Pedro Nunes, Karina E. Coronado, Aluísio Andrade-Lima, Leandro dos Santos, Andreo F. Aguiar, Brad J. Schoenfeld and Edilson S. Cyrino

This study aimed to compare the effects of resistance training performed with low versus moderate loads on systemic resting blood pressure (BP) in older women. A total of 29 women (72.6 ± 5.1 years) were randomized into two groups: low load (LOW, n = 15) and moderate load (MOD, n = 14). An 8-week whole-body resistance training program was carried out 3 days/week (eight exercises, three sets, 10 or 15 repetition maximum). The LOW and MOD groups trained with a relative load of 15 and 10 repetition maximum, respectively. Outcome measures included resting systolic and diastolic BP. After 8 weeks, both groups presented significant changes (p < .05) in systolic BP (LOW = −3.0%; MOD = −4.6%) and mean BP (LOW = −1.9%; MOD = −3.1%). There was no change for diastolic BP in the posttest in both groups. The results suggest that low and moderate loads are equally effective for promoting decreases in resting BP in older women.

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Rachel A. Millstein, Jeff C. Huffman, Anne N. Thorndike, Melanie Freedman, Carlyn Scheu, Sonia Kim, Hermioni L. Amonoo, Margot Barclay and Elyse R. Park

Background: Positive psychological constructs (eg, optimism, positive affect) may help people engage in physical activity, though the details of these relationships and their directionality have not been studied in depth in people with cardiovascular risk factors. The objectives of this study were to use qualitative research to explore the relationships of positive psychological constructs with physical activity among people with metabolic syndrome. Methods: Participants with metabolic syndrome and low physical activity from an academic medical center completed semistructured phone interviews about associations between physical activity and positive psychological constructs, and perceptions about benefits, motivation, and barriers to physical activity. Results: The participants (n = 21) were predominantly older (mean age = 63 y) white (95.2%) women (61.9%). Engaging in physical activity was commonly associated with enjoyment, energy, relaxation, accomplishment, and determination. Experiencing positive psychological constructs like enjoyment, energy, connectedness, optimism, and determination also helped them engage in physical activity. Perceived benefits, facilitators, and barriers of physical activity engagement were noted. Conclusions: The participants at high risk for chronic diseases described many specific positive psychological constructs that both promote and result from physical activity. Testing ways to increase positive psychological constructs may be a novel way to help people at high risk of chronic diseases become more active.

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Elizabeth A. Schlenk, G. Kelley Fitzgerald, Joan C. Rogers, C. Kent Kwoh and Susan M. Sereika

A 6-month self-efficacy intervention was compared with attention-control intervention on physical activity, clinical outcomes, and mediators immediate postintervention and 6-month postintervention in 182 older adults with knee osteoarthritis and hypertension using a randomized controlled trial design. The intervention group received six weekly individual physical therapy sessions for lower-extremity exercise and fitness walking and nine biweekly nurse telephone counseling sessions. The attention-control group received six weekly and nine biweekly nurse telephone sessions on health topics. Lower-extremity exercise was assessed by e-diary; fitness walking was assessed by accelerometer and e-diary; blood pressure was assessed by automated monitor; function was assessed by performance-based tests and questionnaires; and pain, self-efficacy, and outcome expectancy were assessed by questionnaires. Self-reported lower-extremity exercise and fitness walking, function, pain, self-efficacy, and outcome expectancy showed significant group or group by time effects favoring intervention. The intervention did not improve physical activity by accelerometer and blood pressure. Mean minutes of fitness walking fell short of the 150 min/week goal.

Open access

Nicole McCarthy, Kirsty Hope, Rachel Sutherland, Elizabeth Campbell, Rebecca Hodder, Luke Wolfenden and Nicole Nathan

Background: To determine Australian primary school principals’, teachers’, and parents’ attitudes to changing school uniform policies to allow students to wear sports uniforms every day and to assess associations between participant characteristics and their attitudes. A secondary aim was to identify principals’ and teachers’ perceived barriers to uniform changes. Methods: Cross-sectional surveys of principals, teachers, and parents of children in grades 2 to 3 (age 7–10 y) from 62 Australian primary schools (Oct 2017–Mar 2018) were undertaken. Mixed logistic regression analyses assessed the associations between participant characteristics and attitudes toward uniform changes. Results: In total, 73% of the principals (38/52) who responded reported that their school only allowed children to wear a sports uniform on sports days. Overall, 38% of the principals (18/47), 63% of the teachers (334/579), and 78% of the parents (965/1231) reported they would support a policy that allowed children to wear daily sports uniforms. The most commonly reported barrier was the perception that sports uniforms were not appropriate for formal occasions. Conclusions: Although the majority of the principals were not supportive of a change to a daily sports uniform, the majority of the teachers and parents were. Strategies to improve principal support may be required if broader adoption of physical activity–supporting uniforms is to be achieved.

Open access

Soultana Macridis, Christine Cameron, Jean-Philippe Chaput, Tala Chulak-Bozzer, Patricia Clark, Margie H. Davenport, Guy Faulkner, Jonathon Fowles, Lucie Lévesque, Michelle M. Porter, Ryan E. Rhodes, Robert Ross, Elaine Shelton, John C. Spence, Leigh M. Vanderloo and Nora Johnston

Background: The ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Adults is a knowledge exchange tool representing a synthesis of the literature and data available at the national level. The purpose of this paper is to summarize the results of the inaugural 2019 edition. Methods: Thirteen physical activity indicators, grouped into 4 categories, were graded by a committee of experts using a process that was informed by the best available evidence. Sources included national surveys, peer-reviewed literature, and gray literature such as government and nongovernment reports and online content. Results: Grades were assigned to Daily Behaviors (overall physical activity: D; daily movement: C; moderate to vigorous physical activity: F; muscle and bone strength: INC; balance: INC; sedentary behavior: INC; sleep: B−), Individual Characteristics (intentions: B+), Settings and Sources of Influence (social support: INC; workplace: INC; community and environment: B−; health and primary care settings: C−), and Strategies and Investments (government: B−). Conclusions: Generally, lower grades were given to behavior-related indicators (eg, overall physical activity) and better grades for indicators related to investments, community supports, and strategies and policies. Research gaps and future recommendations and directions are identified for each indicator to support future practice, policy, and research directions.

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Roger Russell

Developmental movement unfolds across multiple levels of a person’s biological hierarchy, and in multiple time frames. This article addresses some of the complexity of human moving, learning, and development that is captured in the lessons of the Feldenkrais Method®. It provides an overview of who Moshe Feldenkrais was and how he synthesized a body of work characterized by ontological, epistemological, and ethical stances that make his method unusual and provocative. An overview of his group and individual lessons, with examples, is followed by a closer look at how the complexity of the Feldenkrais method can be understood.