Attention during exercise is known to affect performance; however, the attentional demand inherent to virtual reality (VR)-based exercise is not well understood. We used a dual-task paradigm to compare the attentional demands of VR-based and non-VR-based (conventional, real-world) exercise: 22 older adults (with no diagnosed disabilities) performed a primary reaching task to virtual and real targets in a counterbalanced block order while verbally responding to an unanticipated auditory tone in one third of the trials. The attentional demand of the primary reaching task was inferred from the voice response time (VRT) to the auditory tone. Participants’ engagement level and task experience were also obtained using questionnaires. The virtual target condition was more attention demanding (significantly longer VRT) than the real target condition. Secondary analyses revealed a significant interaction between engagement level and target condition on attentional demand. For participants who were highly engaged, attentional demand was high and independent of target condition. However, for those who were less engaged, attentional demand was low and depended on target condition (i.e., virtual > real). These findings add important knowledge to the growing body of research pertaining to the development and application of technology-enhanced exercise for older adults and for rehabilitation purposes.
Yi-An Chen, Yu-Chen Chung, Rachel Proffitt, Eric Wade and Carolee Winstein
Chung-Chao Liang, Qi-Xing Change, Yu-Chou Hung, Chizan-Chung Chen, Chun-Hsiang Lin, Yu-Chun Wei and Jia-Ching Chen
The Taiwanese government has developed community care stations (CCSs) for community-based older adult care. We investigated the effects of a structured exercise intervention, applied at CCS for 6 months, on physical performance and balance in community-dwelling older adults, including a 2-year reassessment. Fifty-eight participants (aged 76.9 ± 6.3 years) participated in the study. The Elderly Mobility Scale, Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB), Timed Up and Go (TUG), gait speed, functional reach, one-leg-stance (OLS), and flexibility were evaluated at baseline, 6 months, and 2 years. Compared with baseline, the participants improved significantly in the SPPB (0.93 points), TUG (1.94 s), gait speed (0.13 m/s), and right and left OLS (2.56 and 3.12 s) at 6 months. Furthermore, these significant effects, except for OLS, were maintained at the 2-year reassessment according to repeated-measures ANOVA (p < .01). Our preliminary data suggest that adding a structured exercise program can benefit older adults participating in Taiwanese CCSs.
Chien-Chih Chou, Kuan-Chou Chen, Mei-Yao Huang, Hsin-Yu Tu and Chung-Ju Huang
Purpose: This study determines the effect of movement games on executive function among overweight children. Methods: Forty-four overweight children received an intervention of movement games, and 40 overweight children participated in original physical education lessons. An intervention of movement games was conducted three times a week for 8 consecutive weeks. Neuropsychological tasks and the Stroop and determination tests were assessed pre- and postintervention. Results: The results indicated that movement games enhanced the children’s performance in the inhibitory control and attentional function, particularly in the interference tendency condition, whereas no performance improvement was noted in the original physical education lessons. Conclusion: The findings indicate that movement games can be utilized as a useful intervention for improving the attentional and inhibitory problems of overweight children. School authorities should consider incorporating these activities into programs related to physical and health education.
Cheng-Hsiu Lai, Yin-Lan Tsai, Shih-Wei Chou, Fon-Chin Lin, Chung-Yu Chen, Shu-Man Chen, Wen-Chih Lee, Yi-Hung Liao and Chia-Hua Kuo
The majority of schoolchildren with asthma do not participate in regular physical activity due to a risk of exercise-induced asthma. The aim of the study was to determine the glycemic characteristic of Taiwanese children with persistent asthma. The current study found that children with asthma (age 10.4 ± 0.4 years) exhibited lower whole-body insulin sensitivity and poorer physical fitness compared to children without asthma (age 10.9 ± 0.6 years). Postprandial glucose and insulin, BMI, and waist circumference of the children with asthma were greater than those of the healthy children. Four patients with asthma regularly participating in a permissible amount of physical activity exhibited lower postprandial glucose and insulin levels compared to those of the rest of the children with asthma who were totally lacking physical activity. A permissible amount of physical activity appears to be beneficial for children with asthma in the prevention of the early onset of insulin resistance.