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James B. Dear, Michelle M. Porter and A. Elizabeth Ready

This study compared the intensity and energy cost of playing 9 holes of golf with 40 min of lawn mowing in older men and determined whether both met the current recommendations for health benefits. Eighteen men (age 71.2 ± 4.4 yr, BMI 27.3 ± 2.3; M ± SD) completed a graded treadmill test. During golfing and lawn-mowing field tests, oxygen consumption and walking velocity and distance were measured using a portable metabolic system and global positioning system receiver. The net energy costs of golfing and lawn mowing were 310 and 246 kcal, respectively. The average intensities in metabolic equivalents of golfing and lawn mowing were 2.8 ± 0.5 and 5.5 ± 0.9, respectively. Both lawn mowing and golfing met the original intensity and energy expenditure requirements for health benefits specified by the American College of Sports Medicine in 1998, but only lawn mowing met the 2007 intensity recommendations.

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Lucelia Luna de Melo, Verena Menec, Michelle M. Porter and A. Elizabeth Ready

This study examined the associations between walking behavior and the perceived environment and personal factors among older adults. Sixty participants age 65 yr or older (mean 77 ± 7.27, range 65–92) wore pedometers for 3 consecutive days. Perceived environment was assessed using the Neighborhood Environment Walk-ability Scale (abbreviated version). Physical function was measured using the timed chair-stands test. The mean number of steps per day was 5,289 steps (SD = 4,029). Regression analyses showed a significant association between personal factors, including physical function (relative rate = 1.05, p < .01) and income (RR = 1.43, p < .05) and the average daily number of steps taken. In terms of perceived environment, only access to services was significantly related to walking at the univariate level, an association that remained marginally significant when controlling for personal characteristics. These results suggest that among this sample of older adults, walking behavior was more related to personal and intrinsic physical capabilities than to the perceived environment.

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A. Elizabeth Ready, Glen Bergeron, Suzanne L. Boreskie, Barbara Naimark, John Ducas, Jo-Ann V. Sawatzky and Donald T. Drinkwater

This study was a retrospective analysis of injuries sustained by women (mean age 60.9) who completed a 24-week walking intervention. We hypothesized that those who walked 60 min, 5 days/week (n = 27) were more likely to have an injury than those who walked 3 days/week (n = 27), and that predisposing conditions would lead to more injuries. We also examined the effect of the initial 4 weeks’ walking progression on likelihood of injury. A total of 12% of the walkers reported injuries necessitating program withdrawal, 18% reported minor injuries, and 26% reported injuries requiring medical treatment. Age, weight, cardiovascular fitness level, and walking volume were not significantly related to injuries. Women with prior musculoskeletal conditions were more likely to sustain injuries requiring medical treatment (p < .01). For these women, the initial progression may have been too rapid, suggesting that musculoskeletal screening and gradual progression guided by staff is important for moderate as well as intense activity programs.