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Élvio R. Gouveia, Andreas Ihle, Bruna R. Gouveia, Matthias Kliegel, Adilson Marques, and Duarte L. Freitas

Objective: To investigate the relations of balance to muscle mass (MM) and muscle strength (MS), depending on age and physical activity, which is of particular importance to functional independence in older people. Methods: This cross-sectional study included 802 volunteers (69.82 ± 5.60 years). The Fullerton Advanced Balance scale was used to assess balance and a composite score, including arm curl and chair stand tests for assessing MS. MM was estimated by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and physical activity by questionnaire. Results: Greater MM (r = .26, p < .001) and MS (r = .53, p < .001) were positively correlated to balance. The old-old adults and less active individuals attained lower balance. Notably, moderation and subsequent simple slope analyses revealed that the relations of balance, MM, and MS were larger in less active and the old-old adults. Conclusions: The old-old and less active adults were more prone to muscle weakness and balance impairments. Tailored interventions should particularly consider these vulnerable groups.

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Élvio R. Gouveia, Bruna R. Gouveia, José A. Maia, Cameron. J. Blimkie, and Duarte L. Freitas

The aims of this study were to describe age- and sex-related differences in total body skeletal muscle (TB-SM) mass and to determine the variance explained by physical activity (PA). This cross-sectional study included 401 males and 402 females, aged 60–79 years. TB-SM was determined by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and PA by Baecke questionnaire. Statistical analysis included t test, ANOVAs, Pearson correlations, and multiple regression analysis. TB-SM mass was higher in the youngest age group when compared with the oldest in males and females. Males had greater TB-SM values than females. PA made a significant and positive contribution to the variation in TB-SM, β = 0.071; p = .016. Sex, height, fat mass, and PA explained 77% of the variance in TB-SM. The oldest cohorts and females had lower TB-SM than the younger cohorts and males. This study suggests that PA exerts a significant role in the explanation of TB-SM.

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Élvio R. Gouveia, Asim Smailagic, Andreas Ihle, Adilson Marques, Bruna R. Gouveia, Mónica Cameirão, Honorato Sousa, Matthias Kliegel, and Daniel Siewiorek

Background and Objectives: Regular physical exercise can attenuate age-related cognitive decline. This study aimed to investigate the effect of a physical exercise multicomponent training based on exergames on cognitive functioning (CF) in older adults. Research Design and Methods: This randomized controlled trial included older adults aged 61–78. Participants were randomly allocated to an intervention group (IG; n = 15) or active control group (CG; n = 16). The IG was exposed to a combined training with traditional exercise and exergaming, twice a week over a period of 12 weeks. The CG performed only traditional sessions. CF was assessed by the Cognitive Telephone Screening Instrument. The time points for assessment were at zero (pretest), 12 (posttest), and 17 weeks (follow-up). Results: Active CG and IG increased from pretest to posttest in short-term memory (STM), long-term memory (LTM), and Cognitive Telephone Screening Instrument total score 1.98 > Z < 3.00, ps < .005, with moderately large positive effects (.36 > r < .54). A significant increase was seen from posttest to follow-up in STM, Z = 2.74, p = .006, and LTM, Z = 2.31, p < .021, only in IG. Across the two time periods posttest to follow-up, there were significant interaction effects between program type and time for STM (p = .022, ηp2=.17) and LTM (p = .004, ηp2=.25), demonstrating a more beneficial effect of the exergames intervention compared to the CG. Discussion and Implications: The integration of exergaming in a multicomponent functional fitness exercise might have the potential to maintain and improve CF (in particular, STM and LTM) in older adults.