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Christopher A. Bailey, Maxana Weiss and Julie N. Côté

Aging affects fatigability and is a risk factor for incurring a fatigue-related injury in the neck/shoulder region. Age-related changes in the electromyographical features of motor control may be partly responsible. Young (N = 17) and older (N = 13) adults completed a reach-and-lift task at their self-selected speed, before and after a fatiguing task targeting the neck/shoulder. Electromyography amplitude (root mean square), amplitude variability (root mean square coefficient of variation [CV]), functional connectivity (normalized mutual information [NMI]), and functional connectivity variability (NMI CV) were extracted from several muscles and analyzed for effects and interactions of age using general estimating equation models. Root mean square CV and deltoid NMI CV increased from pre- to postfatigue (ps < .05). Upper trapezius–deltoid NMI decreased for young, but increased for older adults, while the opposite response was found for lower trapezius–deltoid NMI (ps < .05). Older adults seem to adapt to fatigue in reach-and-lift movement with a cranial shift in control of the scapula.

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Rachel Cholerton, Jeff Breckon, Joanne Butt and Helen Quirk

Adults aged 55 and older are least likely to play sport. Despite research suggesting this population experiences physical and psychological benefits when doing so, limited research focuses on older adult sport initiation, especially in “adapted sports” such as walking football. The aim of this study was to explore initiation experiences of walking football players between 55 and 75 years old. Semistructured interviews took place with 17 older adults playing walking football for 6 months minimum (M age = 64). Inductive analysis revealed six higher order themes representing preinitiation influences. Eight further higher order themes were found, relating to positive and negative experiences during initiation. Fundamental influences preinitiation included previous sporting experiences and values and perceptions. Emergent positive experiences during initiation included mental development and social connections. Findings highlight important individual and social influences when initiating walking football, which should be considered when encouraging 55- to 75-year-old adults to play adapted sport. Policy and practice recommendations are discussed.

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Liam D. Harper, Adam Field, Liam D. Corr and Robert J. Naughton

The aim of this investigation was to profile the physiological, physical, and biomechanical responses during walking football. A total of 17 male participants (aged 66 ± 6 years) participated. Heart rate; blood lactate; accelerometer variables (biomechanical load [PlayerLoad], changes of direction); and rating of perceived exertion were measured. Participants mean percentage of maximum heart rate was 76 ± 6% during the sessions, with rating of perceived exertion across all sessions at 13 ± 2. Blood lactate increased by ∼157% from presession (1.24 ± 0.4 mmol/L) to postsession (3.19 ± 1.7 mmol/L; p ≤ .0005). PlayerLoad values of 353 ± 67 arbitrary units were observed, as well as ∼100 changes of direction per session. In conclusion, walking football is a moderate- to vigorous-intensity activity. The longitudinal health benefits of walking football remain to be elucidated, particularly on bone health, cardiovascular fitness, and social and mental well-being.

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Devajyoti Deka

This research examined the effect of pre–post differences in walking duration, health, and weight on retirees’ long-term quality of life (QoL). It used data from a 2018 randomized mail survey of 483 suburban New Jersey retirees. Ordinary least squares and three-stage least squares models were used. The analysis showed that changes in walking duration during the first 2 years of retirement are directly associated with health change, health change has an effect on long-term QoL, and weight variation of 10 lb or more has an effect on health change and long-term QoL. Although QoL peaks for the sample of retirees at around age 75, people whose average walking duration increased, health improved, and weight did not increase substantially after retirement continued to experience high QoL for a longer time. The results show that people can achieve high long-term QoL by choosing an active lifestyle when transitioning to retirement.

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Joowon Lee, Baojiang Chen, Harold W. Kohl III, Carolyn E. Barlow, Chong Do Lee, Nina B. Radford, Laura F. DeFina and Kelley P. Gabriel

The purpose of the current investigation was to examine the cross-sectional associations of participation in muscle-strengthening activities (MSAs) with carotid intima–media thickness (CIMT) among older adults. The data are from 2,557 older adult participants enrolled in an observational cohort who reported no history of cardiovascular disease. MSA was determined using a questionnaire. Carotid ultrasound was performed to measure the CIMT of the common carotid artery bilaterally. Logistic regression models were constructed to estimate the association of MSA with CIMT after adjustment for potential confounders. The participants were aged 68.6 ± 7.0 years, and the majority were male (71.7%) and White (96.5%); 18% had abnormal CIMT. Meeting the physical activity guidelines for MSA was inversely associated with abnormal CIMT after adjustment for age and sex. However, this observed inverse relation became statistically null after further adjustment for cardiovascular disease risk factors, including aerobic physical activity.

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Jennifer J. Sherwood, Cathy Inouye, Shannon L. Webb and Jenny O

The study aims were to analyze the reliability and validity of the GymAware linear position transducer’s velocity and power measures during the sit-to-stand, compared with the Dartfish 2D videography analysis, and to assess the relationship of age and handgrip strength with velocity and power in 48 older men and women (77.6 ± 11.1 years). The results showed excellent agreement between GymAware- and Dartfish-derived sit-to-stand velocity (intraclass correlation coefficient2-1 = .94 and power intraclass correlation coefficient2-1 = .98) measures. A moderate and negative relationship was found between age and velocity (r = −.62; p < .001) and age and power (r = −.63; p < .001). A moderate and positive relationship was found between handgrip strength and velocity (r = .43; p = .002) and handgrip strength and power (r = .54; p < .001). The results show the GymAware velocity and power measures during the sit-to-stand in older adults to be reliable and valid.

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Junga Lee

Several controversial studies linking handgrip strength and health have suggested that low handgrip strength in older adults may be related to health problems and have investigated whether there is a minimum handgrip strength level associated with reduced mortality. Thus, by meta-analysis, the authors identified an association between handgrip strength in older adults and disease-specific mortality and all-cause mortality. Thirty studies with a total of 194,767 older adult participants were included in this meta-analysis. Higher handgrip strength was associated with an 18% decrease in all-cause mortality. Lower handgrip strength was associated with increased all-cause mortality. The minimum handgrip strength in older women that did not increase all-cause mortality was 18.21 kg. Increased handgrip strength showed a decreased all-cause mortality, whereas decreased handgrip strength was associated with increased all-cause mortality. Strengthening the handgrip may help improve disease-specific mortality in older adults.

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Joowon Lee, Baojiang Chen, Harold W. Kohl III, Carolyn E. Barlow, Chong do Lee, Nina B. Radford, Laura F. DeFina and Kelley P. Gabriel

The purpose of this study was to examine the association between self-reported physical activity (PA) and mean common carotid artery intima–media thickness (CCA IMT) among older adults. The data are from 1,811 Cooper Center Longitudinal Study participants, who were aged ≥60 years, with no history of cardiovascular disease. A medical history questionnaire was used to assess PA. Carotid ultrasound was performed to measure CCA IMT and the presence of plaque and stenosis. Logistic regression models were constructed to estimate the association between PA and CCA IMT after adjustment for covariates. The participants were aged 69.2 ± 5.9 years, and the majority were male (73.3%) and White (96.7%). The odds ratio of abnormal thickening of CCA IMT was 0.72 (95% confidence interval [0.54, 0.96]) in physically active participants (≥500 metabolic equivalent·min/week) after adjustment for covariates. In the current study, meeting PA guidelines in older adulthood was associated with lower odds of abnormal thickening of CCA IMT.

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Madhura Phansikar and Sean P. Mullen

Leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) is known to benefit cognition among older adults, but the impact of active travel is unclear. To explore this relationship, data from the 2011–2014 National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (N = 2,702; mean age = 70) were retrieved on the self-reported frequency and duration of active travel (walking/cycling for transport, >20 min), LTPA engagement (e.g., sport), and three cognitive outcomes. Four groups were created according to physical activity guidelines (600 metabolic equivalent of task/week): inactive (n = 1,790), active travelers (n = 210), engaging in LTPA (n = 579), and engaging in both (n = 123). Analysis of covariance (and follow-up comparisons) revealed a significant main effect for each cognition variable, after adjusting for the covariates, indicating that those engaging in LTPA performed the best. Although correlational, these findings suggest that LTPA engagement may be important for cognition among older adults, but active travel did not provide added benefit.

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Melanie S. Hill, Jeremy B. Yorgason, Larry J. Nelson and Alexander C. Jensen

Some older adults may not receive social connection due to social withdrawal, potentially resulting in loneliness. The purpose of this study was to examine relationships between social withdrawal and loneliness, in the context of sports participation. The authors hypothesized that individuals who are more shy and avoidant would be more lonely than those who are less shy and avoidant, and that those who are unsocial would not necessarily be more lonely. The authors also hypothesized individual sport participation would further exacerbate loneliness over group sport participation. Results from participants in the Huntsman Senior Games (n = 374) indicated that as shyness, avoidance, and unsociability increased, loneliness increased as well. Furthermore, shy athletes in group sports reported higher levels of loneliness than those in individual sports. Although the authors seek to prevent individuals from being lonely in later life, there may be instances where removing oneself from a group is beneficial for mental health.