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  • Author: Katie J. Thralls x
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Katie J. Thralls and Susan S. Levy

While physical activity (PA) improves functions for activities of daily living, little is known of the association between meeting published PA Guidelines for Americans (PAGA) and meeting published physical function guidelines for maintaining independence. The purpose of this study was to examine the association between meeting the PAGA and meeting independence criteria on the Senior Fitness Tests (SFT). Older adults (N = 265) completed SFTs, assessing cardiorespiratory fitness, lower and upper body strength, mobility, and self-reported aerobic and resistance PA. Chi-square tests and logistic regressions examined associations between meeting PAGA and SFT independence criteria. A significant relationship was found between meeting aerobic PAGA and cardiorespiratory and upper body SFT criteria; a significant relationship was found between meeting resistance PAGA and upper body strength criteria. Although research suggests that PAGA are effective in maintaining fitness in older adults when PA is structured and monitored, mixed results were found for self-reported PA and SFT criteria.

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Katie J. Thralls, Jeanne F. Nichols, Michelle T. Barrack, Mark Kern and Mitchell J. Rauh

Early detection of the female athlete triad is essential for the long-term health of adolescent female athletes. The purpose of this study was to assess relationships between common anthropometric markers (ideal body weight [IBW] via the Hamwi formula, youth-percentile body mass index [BMI], adult BMI categories, and body fat percentage [BF%]) and triad components, (low energy availability [EA], measured by dietary restraint [DR], menstrual dysfunction [MD], low bone mineral density [BMD]). In the sample (n = 320) of adolescent female athletes (age 15.9± 1.2 y), Spearman’s rho correlations and multiple logistic regression analyses evaluated associations between anthropometric clinical cutoffs and triad components. All underweight categories for the anthropometric measures predicted greater likelihood of MD and low BMD. Athletes with an IBW ≤85% were nearly 4 times more likely to report MD (OR = 3.7, 95% CI [1.8, 7.9]) and had low BMD (OR = 4.1, 95% CI [1.2, 14.2]). Those in <5th percentile for their age-specific BMI were 9 times more likely to report MD (OR 9.1, 95% CI [1.8, 46.9]) and had low BMD than those in the 50th to 85th percentile. Athletes with a high BF% were almost 3 times more likely to report DR (OR = 2.8, 95% CI [1.4, 6.1]). Our study indicates that low age-adjusted BMI and low IBW may serve as evidence-based clinical indicators that may be practically evaluated in the field, predicting MD and low BMD in adolescents. These measures should be tested for their ability as tools to minimize the risk for the triad.