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  • Author: Jo-Ann V. Sawatzky x
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Jo-Ann V. Sawatzky and Barbara J. Naimark

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in women. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between physical activity and other determinants of cardiovascular health in aging women from a health-promotion perspective. Participants (N = 206) completed a cardiovascular health-promotion profile, and various physical measures were recorded. The findings suggest that physically active aging women, especially those who exercise regularly or vigorously, have healthier cardiovascular profiles than do their less active counterparts. They were more likely to be members of a health and fitness facility, to be younger, and have higher socioeconomic status. Their diets were healthier, and their perception of their health status was more positive. Physical measures of cardiovascular health also decreased with increased levels of activity (p < .05). These findings validate physical activity promotion as an effective strategy to ameliorate the cardiovascular health profile of aging women. The study also lends support for population-based cardiovascular health-promotion strategies.

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A. Elizabeth Ready, Glen Bergeron, Suzanne L. Boreskie, Barbara Naimark, John Ducas, Jo-Ann V. Sawatzky and Donald T. Drinkwater

This study was a retrospective analysis of injuries sustained by women (mean age 60.9) who completed a 24-week walking intervention. We hypothesized that those who walked 60 min, 5 days/week (n = 27) were more likely to have an injury than those who walked 3 days/week (n = 27), and that predisposing conditions would lead to more injuries. We also examined the effect of the initial 4 weeks’ walking progression on likelihood of injury. A total of 12% of the walkers reported injuries necessitating program withdrawal, 18% reported minor injuries, and 26% reported injuries requiring medical treatment. Age, weight, cardiovascular fitness level, and walking volume were not significantly related to injuries. Women with prior musculoskeletal conditions were more likely to sustain injuries requiring medical treatment (p < .01). For these women, the initial progression may have been too rapid, suggesting that musculoskeletal screening and gradual progression guided by staff is important for moderate as well as intense activity programs.