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  • Author: Ann M. Swartz x
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Ann M. Swartz, Sergey Tarima, Nora E. Miller, Teresa L. Hart, Elizabeth K. Grimm, Aubrianne E. Rote and Scott J. Strath

The purpose of the study was to determine the relationship between sedentary behavior (SB), physical activity (PA), and body fat (total, abdominal) or body size (body-mass index [BMI], waist circumference [WC]) in community-dwelling adults 50 yr old and over. This study included 232 ambulatory adults (50–87 yr, 37.4% ± 9.6% body fat [BF]). Average daily time spent in SB (<100 counts/min) and light (100–759 counts/min), lifestyle-moderate (760–1,951 counts/min), walking-moderate (1,952–5,724cts/min), and vigorous-intensity (≥5,725 counts/min) PA were determined by accelerometer and corrected for wear time. BF was measured with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. SB was positively related to measures of BF. Measures of SB, PA, and gender accounted for 55.6% of the variance in total BF, 32.4% of the variance in abdominal fat, and 28.0% of the variance in WC. SB, PA, and age accounted for 27.1% of the variance in BMI. Time spent in SB should be considered when designing obesity interventions for adults 50 yr old and over.

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Scott J. Strath, Ann M. Swartz, Sarah J. Parker, Nora E. Miller, Elizabeth K. Grimm and Susan E. Cashin


Increasing physical activity (PA) levels in older adults represents an important public health challenge. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of combining individualized motivational messaging with pedometer walking step targets to increase PA in previously inactive and insufficiently active older adults.


In this 12-week intervention study older adults were randomized to 1 of 4 study arms: Group 1—control; Group 2—pedometer 10,000 step goal; Group 3—pedometer step goal plus individualized motivational feedback; or Group 4—everything in Group 3 augmented with biweekly telephone feedback.


81 participants were randomized into the study, 61 participants completed the study with an average age of 63.8 ± 6.0 years. Group 1 did not differ in accumulated steps/day following the 12-week intervention compared with participants in Group 2. Participants in Groups 3 and 4 took on average 2159 (P < .001) and 2488 (P < .001) more steps/day, respectively, than those in Group 1 after the 12-week intervention.


In this 12-week pilot randomized control trial, a pedometer feedback intervention partnered with individually matched motivational messaging was an effective intervention strategy to significantly increase PA behavior in previously inactive and insufficiently active older adults.

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Christopher J. Dondzila, Keith P. Gennuso, Ann M. Swartz, Sergey Tarima, Elizabeth K. Lenz, Stephanie S. Stein, Randal J. Kohl and Scott J. Strath

The aim of this study was to examine the dose-response relationship between walking activity and physical function (PF) in community-dwelling older adults. Physical activity (PA, pedometry) and PF (self-report [SF-36] and 6-minute walk test [6MWT]) were assessed in 836 individuals. Accumulated PA was categorized into four groups (1 = ≤ 2,500; 2 = 2,501–5,000; 3 = 5,001–7,500; and 4 = ≥ 7,501 steps/day). Across individual groups 1–4, SF-36 scores increased from 66.9 ± 25.0% to 73.5 ± 23.2% to 78.8 ± 19.7% to 81.3 ± 20.6%, and 6MWT increased from 941.7 ± 265.4 ft to 1,154.1 ± 248.2 ft to 1,260.1 ± 226.3 ft to 1,294.0 ± 257.9 ft. Both SF-36 and 6MWT scores were statistically different across all groups, apart from groups 3 and 4. PA and ranks of groups were highly significant predictors (p < .0001) for both SF-36 and 6MWT. There was a positive dose-response relationship evident for both SF-36 and 6MWT with increasing levels of PA. Low levels of PA appear to be an important indicator of poor functionality in older adults.