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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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Johannes Raabe, Katrin Schmidt, Johannes Carl and Oliver Höner

Researchers consider motivation a key determinant of physical activity. In physical education (PE) and youth sport, the more children and adolescents evaluate their teachers and coaches to be autonomy supportive, as opposed to controlling, the more self-determined they are in their motivation. Therefore, it appears valuable to help PE teachers and youth sport coaches optimize their interactions with the individuals they work with. This study was designed to systematically review the literature related to autonomy support interventions with PE teachers and youth sport coaches. After relevant databases were searched and duplicates were removed, 1,523 potentially pertinent articles were found. These were subsequently screened based on specific inclusion criteria. This systematic review process helped identify 21 studies that were included for further analyses. Overall, the interventions were frequently successful in enhancing PE teachers’ and youth sport coaches’ behavior. Additional research appears justified to foster self-determined motivation among children and adolescence.

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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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Jonathon J.S. Weakley, Dale B. Read, Hugh H.K. Fullagar, Carlos Ramirez-Lopez, Ben Jones, Cloe Cummins and John A. Sampson

Purpose: To investigate whether providing global positioning system feedback to players between bouts of small-sided games (SSGs) can alter locomotor, physiological, and perceptual responses. Methods: Using a reverse counterbalanced design, 20 male university rugby players received either feedback or no feedback during “off-side” touch rugby SSGs. Eight 5v5, 6 × 4-minute SSGs were played over 4 d. Teams were assigned to a feedback or no-feedback condition (control) each day, with feedback provided during the 2-min between-bouts rest interval. Locomotor, heart rate, and differential rating of perceived exertion of breathlessness and leg-muscle exertion were measured and analyzed using a linear mixed model. Outcomes were reported using effect sizes (ES) and 90% confidence intervals (CI), and then interpreted via magnitude-based decisions. Results: Very likely trivial to unclear differences at all time points were observed in heart rate and differential rating of perceived exertion measures. Possibly to very likely trivial effects were observed between conditions, including total distance (ES = 0.15; 90 CI, −0.03 to 0.34), high-speed distance (ES = −0.07; 90 CI, −0.27 to 0.13), and maximal sprint speed (ES = 0.11; 90% CI, −0.11 to 0.34). All within-bout comparisons showed very likely to unclear differences, apart from possible increases in low-speed distance in bout 2 (ES = 0.23; 90% CI, 0.01 to 0.46) and maximal sprint speed in bout 4 (ES = 0.21; 90% CI, −0.04 to 0.45). Conclusions: In this study, verbal feedback did not alter locomotor, physiological, or perceptual responses in rugby players during SSGs. This may be due to contextual factors (eg, opposition) or the type (ie, distance) or low frequency of feedback provided.

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Juan A. Escobar Álvarez, Juan P. Fuentes García, Filipe A. Da Conceição and Pedro Jiménez-Reyes

Purpose: Ballet dancers are required to achieve performance feats such as exciting and dramatic elevations. Dancers with a greater jump height can perform a wider range of skills during their flight time and implement more specific technical skills related to the aesthetic components of a dance choreography. New findings suggest the relationship between force and velocity mechanical capabilities (F-V profile) as an important variable for jumping performance. A new field method based on several series of loaded vertical jumps provides information on the theoretical maximal force, theoretical maximal velocity, theoretical maximal power, and the imbalance between force and velocity (F-V IMB). The purpose of this study was to observe the effects of 9 wk of individualized F-V profile-based training during countermovement jumps (CMJs) in female ballet dancers. Methods: CMJ and mechanical outputs of 46 dancers (age = 18.9 [1.1] y, body mass = 54.8 [6.1] kg, height = 163.7 [8.4] cm) were estimated in a pre–post intervention. The control group (10 participants) continued with the standardized training regimen (no resistance training), whereas the experimental group (36 participants) performed 2 sessions over 9 wk of a training plan based on their F-V profile. Results: The experimental group presented significant differences with large effect sizes in CMJ height (29.3 [3.2] cm vs 33.5 [3.72] cm), theoretical maximal force (24.1 [2.2] N/kg vs 29.9 [2.8] N/kg), and theoretical maximal velocity (4 [0.6] m/s vs 3.2 [0.5] m/s). Significant differences with a very large effect size were found in F-V IMB (43.8% [15.3%] vs 24.9% [8.7%]). Conclusion: A training program addressing F-V IMB is an effective way to improve CMJ height in female ballet dancers.

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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.