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  • Author: Allen W. Jackson x
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Muscle Strength and Postural Stability in Healthy, Older Women: Implications for Fall Prevention

Elaine J. Trudelle-Jackson, Allen W. Jackson, and James R. Morrow Jr.

Background:

Effect of muscle strength and balance on falls has not been well researched in healthy older women. The purpose of this study was to compare lower extremity strength and balance in older healthy women during each decade of life and to investigate which factors are different in women with a history of falling.

Methods:

We retrospectively studied 240 women age 50-89 y. Measures of muscle strength, postural stability, and incidence of falls over the past year were obtained from client charts at Texas Woman’s University’s Health Promotion & Research Center from 1996 to 2002.

Results:

Strength declined significantly with age in all muscle groups except knee extensors. Age, hip flexor and abductor strength, and postural stability were significantly different in women who had fallen.

Conclusions:

Strength decline was not consistent across muscle groups. Women who were older, had less hip flexor or abductor strength, or less balance were more likely to have fallen.

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Relations Between Sedentary Behavior and FITNESSGRAM Healthy Fitness Zone Achievement and Physical Activity

Jacob S. Tucker, Scott Martin, Allen W. Jackson, James R. Morrow Jr., Christy A. Greenleaf, and Trent A. Petrie

Purpose:

To investigate the relations between sedentary behaviors and health-related physical fitness and physical activity in middle school boys and girls.

Methods:

Students (n = 1515) in grades 6–8 completed the Youth Risk Behavior Survey sedentary behavior questions, the FITNESSGRAM physical fitness items, and FITNESSGRAM physical activity self-report questions.

Results:

When students reported ≤ 2 hours per day of sedentary behaviors, their odds of achieving the FITNESSGRAM Healthy Fitness Zone for aerobic capacity, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, and body composition increased. Similarly, the odds of achieving physical activity guidelines for children increased when students reported ≤ 2 hours per day of sedentary behaviors.

Conclusions:

Results illustrate the importance of keeping sedentary behaviors to ≤ 2 hours per day in middle school children, thus increasing the odds that the student will achieve sufficient health-related fitness benefits and be more likely to achieve the national physical activity guidelines.

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Muscular Fitness and All-Cause Mortality: Prospective Observations

Shannon J. FitzGerald, Carolyn E. Barlow, James B. Kampert, James R. Morrow Jr., Allen W. Jackson, and Steven N. Blair

Background:

The beneficial effects of cardiorespiratory fitness on mortality are well known; however, the relation of muscular fitness, specifically muscular strength and endurance, to mortality risk has not been thoroughly examined. The purpose of the current study is to determine if a dose-response relation exists between muscular fitness and mortality after controlling for factors such as age and cardiorespiratory fitness.

Methods:

The study included 9105 men and women, 20–82 years of age, in the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study who have completed at least one medical examination at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas, TX between 1981 and 1989. The exam included a muscular fitness assessment, based on 1-min sit-up and 1-repetition maximal leg and bench press scores, and a maximal treadmill test. We conducted mortality follow-up through 1996 primarily using the National Death Index, with a total follow-up of 106,046 person-years. All-cause mortality rates were examined across low, moderate, and high muscular fitness strata.

Results:

Mortality was confirmed in 194 of 9105 participants (2.1%). The age- and sex-adjusted mortality rate of those in the lowest muscular fitness category was higher than that of those in the moderate fitness category (26.8 vs. 15.3 per 10,000 person-years, respectively). Those in the high fitness category had a mortality rate of 20.6 per 10,000 person-years. The moderate and high muscular fitness groups had relative risks of 0.64 (95%CI = 0.44–0.93) and 0.80 (95%CI = 0.49–1.31), adjusting for age, health status, body mass index, cigarette smoking, and cardio-respiratory fitness when compared with the low muscular fitness group.

Conclusions:

Mortality rates were lower for individuals with moderate/high muscular fitness compared to individuals with low muscular fitness. These findings warrant further research to confirm the apparent threshold effect between low and moderate/high muscular fitness and all-cause mortality.