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Kimberly Hannam, Kevin Deere, Sue Worrall, April Hartley and Jon H. Tobias

The purpose of this study was to establish the feasibility of using an aerobics class to produce potentially bone protective vertical impacts of ≥ 4g in older adults and to determine whether impacts can be predicted by physical function. Participants recruited from older adult exercise classes completed an SF-12 questionnaire, short physical performance battery, and an aerobics class with seven different components, performed at low and high intensity. Maximum g and jerk values were identified for each activity. Forty-one participants (mean 69 years) were included. Mean maximal values approached or exceeded the 4g threshold for four of the seven exercises. In multivariate analyses, age (−0.53; −0.77, −0.28) (standardized beta coefficient; 95% CI) and 4-m walk time (−0.39; −0.63, −0.16) were inversely related to maximum g. Aerobics classes can be used to produce relatively high vertical accelerations in older individuals, although the outcome is strongly dependent on age and physical function.

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Daniel Leightley, Moi Hoon Yap, Jessica Coulson, Mathew Piasecki, James Cameron, Yoann Barnouin, Jon Tobias and Jamie S. McPhee

The aim of this study was to compare postural sway during a series of static balancing tasks and during five chair rises between healthy young (mean [SEM], age 26 [1] years), healthy old (age 67 [1] years) and master athlete runners (age 67 [1] years; competing and training for the previous 51 [5] years) using the Microsoft Kinect One. The healthy old had more sway than the healthy young in all balance tasks. The master athletes had similar sway to young athletes during two-leg balancing and one-leg standing with eyes open. When balancing on one leg with eyes closed, both the healthy old and the master athletes had around 17-fold more sway than the young athletes. The healthy old and master athletes also had less anterio-posterior movement during chair rising compared with young athletes. These results suggest that masters runners are not spared from the age-associated decline in postural stability and may benefit from specific balance training.

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Kevin C. Deere, Kimberly Hannam, Jessica Coulson, Alex Ireland, Jamie S. McPhee, Charlotte Moss, Mark H. Edwards, Elaine Dennison, Cyrus Cooper, Adrian Sayers, Matthijs Lipperts, Bernd Grimm and Jon H. Tobias

Physical activity (PA) may need to produce high impacts to be osteogenic. The aim of this study was to identify threshold(s) for defining high impact PA for future analyses in the VIBE (Vertical Impact and Bone in the Elderly) study, based on home recordings with triaxial accelerometers. Recordings were obtained from 19 Master Athlete Cohort (MAC; mean 67.6 years) and 15 Hertfordshire Cohort Study (HCS; mean 77.7 years) participants. Data cleaning protocols were developed to exclude artifacts. Accelerations expressed in g units were categorized into three bands selected from the distribution of positive Y-axis peak accelerations. Data were available for 6.6 and 4.4 days from MAC and HCS participants respectively, with approximately 14 hr recording daily. Three-fold more 0.5−1.0g impacts were observed in MAC versus HCS, 20-fold more 1.0−1.5g impacts, and 140-fold more impacts ≥ 1.5g. Our analysis protocol successfully distinguishes PA levels in active and sedentary older individuals.