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David Geard, Amanda L. Rebar, Peter Reaburn and Rylee A. Dionigi

Due to their high physical functioning, masters athletes are regularly proposed to exemplify successful aging. However, successful aging research on masters athletes has never been undertaken using a multidimensional successful aging model. To determine the best model for future successful aging research on masters athletes, we had masters swimmers (N = 169, M age = 57.4 years, 61% women) self-report subjective successful aging, and physical, psychological, cognitive, and social functioning. Using this data we tested one hypothesized and three alternative successful aging models. The hypothesized model fit the data best (-2LL = 2052.32, AIC = 1717) with physical (β = 0.31, SE = 0.11), psychological (β = 0.25, SE = 0.11), and social (β = 1.20, SE = 0.63) functioning factors significantly loading onto a higher order successful aging latent factor. Successful aging should be conceptualized as a multidimensional phenomenon in future masters athlete research.

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David Geard, Peter R.J. Reaburn, Amanda L. Rebar and Rylee A. Dionigi

Global population aging has raised academic interest in successful aging to a public policy priority. Currently there is no consensus regarding the definition of successful aging. However, a synthesis of research shows successful aging can be defined as a late-life process of change characterized by high physical, psychological, cognitive, and social functioning. Masters athletes systematically train for, and compete in, organized forms of team and individual sport specifically designed for older adults. Masters athletes are often proposed as exemplars of successful aging. However, their aging status has never been examined using a comprehensive multidimensional successful aging definition. Here, we examine the successful aging literature, propose a successful aging definition based on this literature, present evidence which suggests masters athletes could be considered exemplars of successful aging according to the proposed definition, and list future experimental research directions.

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James A. Dimmock, Marylène Gagné, Lauren Proud, Timothy C. Howle, Amanda L. Rebar and Ben Jackson

Sustained attention has been devoted to studying the factors that support (or thwart) individuals’ enjoyment of, interest in, and value judgments regarding their exercise activities. We employed a resistance-inducing (i.e., inoculation theory) messaging technique with the aim of protecting these desirable perceptions in the face of environmental conditions designed to undermine one’s positive exercise experiences. Autonomously motivated exercisers (N = 146, M age = 20.57, SD = 4.02) performed a 25-min, group-based, instructor-led exercise circuit, in which the activities were deliberately monotonous, and during which the confederate instructor acted in a disinterested, unsupportive, and critical manner. Shortly before the session, participants received either a control message containing general information about the exercise class or an inoculation message containing a forewarning about potential challenges to participants’ enjoyment/interest/value perceptions during the class, as well as information about how participants might maintain positive perceptions in the face of these challenges. Despite there being no between-conditions differences in presession mood or general exercise motives, inoculated (relative to control) participants reported greater interest/enjoyment in the exercise session and higher perceptions of need support from the instructor. Perceptions of need support mediated the relationship between message condition and interest/enjoyment.

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Amanda L. Rebar, Steriani Elavsky, Jaclyn P. Maher, Shawna E. Doerksen and David E. Conroy

Physical activity is regulated by controlled processes, such as intentions, and automatic processes, such as habits. Intentions relate to physical activity more strongly for people with weak habits than for people with strong habits, but people’s intentions vary day by day. Physical activity may be regulated by habits unless daily physical activity intentions are strong. University students (N = 128) self-reported their physical activity habit strength and subsequently self-reported daily physical activity intentions and wore an accelerometer for 14 days. On days when people had intentions that were weaker than typical for them, habit strength was positively related to physical activity, but on days when people had typical or stronger intentions than was typical for them, habit strength was unrelated to daily physical activity. Efforts to promote physical activity may need to account for habits and the dynamics of intentions.

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Stephanie Alley, Jannique G.Z. van Uffelen, Mitch J. Duncan, Katrien De Cocker, Stephanie Schoeppe, Amanda L. Rebar and Corneel Vandelanotte

This study examined sitting time, knowledge, and intentions to change sitting time in older adults. An online survey was completed by 494 Australians aged 65+. Average daily sitting was high (9.0 hr). Daily sitting time was the highest during TV (3.3 hr), computer (2.1 hr), and leisure (1.7 hr). A regression analysis demonstrated that women were more knowledgeable about the health risks of sitting compared to men. The percentage of older adults intending to sit less were the highest for TV (24%), leisure (24%), and computer (19%) sitting time. Regression analyses demonstrated that intentions varied by gender (for TV sitting), education (leisure and work sitting), body mass index (computer, leisure, and transport sitting), and physical activity (TV, computer, and leisure sitting). Interventions should target older adults’ TV, computer, and leisure time sitting, with a focus on intentions in older males and older adults with low education, those who are active, and those with a normal weight.

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Pamela K. Samra, Amanda L. Rebar, Lynne Parkinson, Jannique G.Z. van Uffelen, Stephanie Schoeppe, Deborah Power, Anthony Schneiders, Corneel Vandelanotte and Stephanie Alley

An understanding of physical activity attitudes, preferences, and experiences in older adults is important for informing interventions. Focus groups were conducted with 46 regionally-based Australian adults aged 65 years and older, who were not currently meeting activity recommendations. Content analysis revealed that participants mainly engaged in incidental activities such as gardening and household chores rather than planned exercise; however, leisure-time walking was also mentioned frequently. Although participants valued the physical and mental health benefits of physical activity, they reported being restricted by poor physical health, extreme weather, and fear of injury. Participants were interested in exercise groups and physical activity programs tailored to their existing physical health. The majority of participants reported preferring to be active with others. The findings from this study are useful in for informing future interventions specifically tailored to the needs of older adults in Australia.