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Kenneth E. Mobily and Paula R. Mobily

The primary purpose of this investigation was to determine the internal consistency of the 60+ functional fitness test battery for older adults. A secondary purpose was to determine whether the number of trials recommended in the testing manual was optimal. Subjects were used from an ongoing study of a fitness program for community-dwelling older adults. Internal consistency coefficients for subtests of flexibility, agility, coordination, and strength were excellent. Post hoc analysis across trials indicated significant differences in means between early trials and later trials. Mean scores stabilized after two or three trials, depending on the subtest of interest. Data provided insight into the number of practice trials and amount of warm-up necessary to implement the 60+ functional fitness test battery in field settings.

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Kenneth E. Mobily, Linda M. Rubenstein, Jon H. Lemke, Michael W. O’Hara and Robert B. Wallace

The purpose of the study was to develop an explanatory model of the exercise/depression relationship using a rural-residing population of elderly aged 65 or older. Subjects were selected from the 3,673 persons who participated in the Iowa 65+ Rural Health Study. The 2,084 subjects with complete data, valid information about depressive symptoms, and ability to walk across a small room were divided into two cohort groups at baseline: those with few and those with more depressive symptoms. Logistic regression models using walking status, demographic variables, and chronic health conditions were developed to predict depressive symptoms for this population at a 3-year follow-up. Consistent with previous studies using mixed-age cohorts, physical activity was negatively associated with depressive symptoms. We concluded that the relationship between exercise and depressive symptoms may be manifested in both subjects with more and few depressive symptoms because both groups benefited from daily walking.

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Kenneth E. Mobily, Jon H. Lemke, Greg A. Drube, Robert B. Wallace, David K. Leslie and Ellen Weissinger

The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between attitude toward physical activity and exercise practices among a large, well-defined population of rural mid western elderly. The frequency of participation in exercise was a composite across three questions regarding physical activity. Intensity of exercise was also considered. The data were analyzed according to a weighted least-squares approach to categorical data. The resulting chisquare goodness-of-fit model was significant and replicated the exercise behavior of the subjects. A significant main effect for gender and a significant age × attitude interaction was observed. The main effect for gender revealed that, for any age × attitude combination, males were more apt to participate at a given exercise level. However, age mediated the influence of attitude on exercise. Older age had a more detrimental effect on exercise behavior if attitude toward exercise was positive.