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The Social Context of Sedentary Behaviors and Their Relationships With Health in Later Life

David Russell and Jo-Ana D. Chase

This study examined sedentary behaviors among older adults and explored associations with social context and health measures using cross-sectional data from the National Health and Aging Trends Study (N = 1,687). Multivariate models were estimated to explore associations of time in six sedentary behaviors (i.e., television watching, sitting and talking, hobbies, computer use, driving, and resting) with sociodemographic characteristics and level of social engagement and with health status. Results indicated substantial variability in sedentary behaviors, with television watching being the most frequent and resting the least frequent activities. Sedentary behaviors varied by sociodemographic characteristics, including age, race/ethnicity, and education, as well as by level of social engagement. Television watching and resting, but not other behaviors, were associated with poorer health. These findings help to unpack the role of social context in sedentary behaviors and could inform public health interventions aimed at reducing time spent in behaviors that are adversely associated with health.

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Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Primary Care-Based Physical Activity Interventions Among Older Adults

Jennifer A. Otmanowski and Jo-Ana D. Chase

The purpose of this research is to identify the effectiveness of primary care-based interventions designed to increase older adults’ physical activity (PA). Primary care was defined as a patient’s main source of health care. Standardized mean difference effect size (ES) was calculated related to changes in PA levels in adults’ ≥65. Moderator analysis was performed to explore the relationship between participant characteristics, interventions, interventionists, and ES. Overall mean ES 0.27 (95% confidence interval [0.15, 0.39], p < .01) was calculated for 25 two-group comparisons involving 4,685 total participants with a mean age of 75.08. There was little evidence to support counseling over exercise referrals. The use of theory or a pedometer did not modify the ES. PA interventions delivered in primary care are effective and can be delivered by other health-care providers working with the primary provider. Many different behavior change strategies may be used to promote PA.

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Physical Activity Intervention Effects on Physical Function Among Community-Dwelling Older Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Jo-Ana D. Chase, Lorraine J. Phillips, and Marybeth Brown

The purpose of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to determine the effects of supervised resistance and/or aerobic training physical activity interventions on performance-based measures of physical functioning among community-dwelling older adults, and to identify factors impacting intervention effectiveness. Diverse search strategies were used to identify eligible studies. Standardized mean difference effect sizes (d, ES) were synthesized using a random effects model. Moderator analyses were conducted using subgroup analyses and meta-regression. Twenty-eight studies were included. Moderator analyses were limited by inconsistent reporting of sample and intervention characteristics. The overall mean ES was 0.45 (k = 38, p ≤ .01), representing a clinically meaningful reduction of 0.92 s in the Timed Up and Go for treatment versus control. More minutes per week (p < .01) and longer intervention session duration (p < .01) were associated with larger effects. Interventions were especially effective among frail participants (d = 1.09). Future research should clearly describe sample and intervention characteristics and incorporate frail populations.