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David Russell and Jo-Ana D. Chase

This study examined sedentary behaviors among older adults and explored associations with social context and health measures using cross-sectional data from the National Health and Aging Trends Study (N = 1,687). Multivariate models were estimated to explore associations of time in six sedentary behaviors (i.e., television watching, sitting and talking, hobbies, computer use, driving, and resting) with sociodemographic characteristics and level of social engagement and with health status. Results indicated substantial variability in sedentary behaviors, with television watching being the most frequent and resting the least frequent activities. Sedentary behaviors varied by sociodemographic characteristics, including age, race/ethnicity, and education, as well as by level of social engagement. Television watching and resting, but not other behaviors, were associated with poorer health. These findings help to unpack the role of social context in sedentary behaviors and could inform public health interventions aimed at reducing time spent in behaviors that are adversely associated with health.

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Jo-Ana D. Chase, Lorraine J. Phillips and Marybeth Brown

The purpose of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to determine the effects of supervised resistance and/or aerobic training physical activity interventions on performance-based measures of physical functioning among community-dwelling older adults, and to identify factors impacting intervention effectiveness. Diverse search strategies were used to identify eligible studies. Standardized mean difference effect sizes (d, ES) were synthesized using a random effects model. Moderator analyses were conducted using subgroup analyses and meta-regression. Twenty-eight studies were included. Moderator analyses were limited by inconsistent reporting of sample and intervention characteristics. The overall mean ES was 0.45 (k = 38, p ≤ .01), representing a clinically meaningful reduction of 0.92 s in the Timed Up and Go for treatment versus control. More minutes per week (p < .01) and longer intervention session duration (p < .01) were associated with larger effects. Interventions were especially effective among frail participants (d = 1.09). Future research should clearly describe sample and intervention characteristics and incorporate frail populations.