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Tona Hetzler, Amy E. Smith and Doug Rempe

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Tona Hetzler, Amy E. Smith and Doug Rempe

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Bert H. Jacobson, Doug Smith, Jeanette Fronterhouse, Crishel Kline and Ali Boolani

Background:

Aging is accompanied by a significant loss of strength which further contributes to loss of functional ability and a propensity for injury. The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of power assisted exercises on muscle endurance and functional capacity of elderly participants following 12 weeks of supervised training.

Methods:

Elderly subjects (N = 53) were randomly assigned to either the experimental or the control group. The experimental group trained for 12 weeks using powered exercise machines incorporating only concentric contractions while attempting to accelerate the preset, moving levers. Training involved 6 separate machines and using both upper- and lower-body musculature. Pre- and posttests consisted of Timed Chair Stand, Up and Go Test, arm curl, bench press, leg extension, triceps extension, and the Berg Balance Scale Assessment.

Results:

Analysis yielded significant improvements (P < .05) by the experimental group over the control group in all measures of muscle endurance, balance, and functional capacity. An improvement in balance paralleled muscle endurance improvements.

Conclusions:

Powered exercise equipment when used actively, will generate both upper- and lower-body muscle endurance in elderly participants in a safe exercise environment and such improvement also generated improvement in balance.

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Barbara B. Brown, Ken R. Smith, Doug Tharp, Carol M. Werner, Calvin P. Tribby, Harvey J. Miller and Wyatt Jensen

Background:

Complete streets require evaluation to determine if they encourage active transportation.

Methods:

Data were collected before and after a street intervention provided new light rail, bike lanes, and better sidewalks in Salt Lake City, Utah. Residents living near (<800 m) and far (≥801 to 2000 m) from the street were compared, with sensitivity tests for alternative definitions of near (<600 and <1000 m). Dependent variables were accelerometer/global positioning system (GPS) measures of transit trips, nontransit walking trips, and biking trips that included the complete street corridor.

Results:

Active travel trips for Near-Time 2 residents, the group hypothesized to be the most active, were compared with the other 3 groups (Near-Time 1, Far-Time 1, and Far-Time 2), net of control variables. Near-Time 2 residents were more likely to engage in complete street transit walking trips (35%, adjusted) and nontransit walking trips (50%) than the other 3 groups (24% to 25% and 13% to 36%, respectively). Bicycling was less prevalent, with only 1 of 3 contrasts significant (10% of Near-Time 2 residents had complete street bicycle trips compared with 5% of Far-Time 1 residents).

Conclusions:

Living near the complete street intervention supported more pedestrian use and possibly bicycling, suggesting complete streets are also public health interventions.