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  • Author: Malcolm H. Granat x
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P. Margaret Grant, Malcolm H. Granat, Morag K. Thow and William M. Maclaren

This study measured objectively the postural physical activity of 4 groups of older adults (≥65 yr). The participants (N = 70) comprised 3 patient groups—2 from rehabilitation wards (city n = 20, 81.8 ± 6.7 yr; rural n = 10, 79.4 ± 4.7 yr) and the third from a city day hospital (n = 20, 74.7 ± 7.9 yr)—and a healthy group to provide context (n = 20, 73.7 ± 5.5 yr). The participants wore an activity monitor (activPAL) for a week. A restricted maximum-likelihood-estimation analysis of hourly upright time (standing and walking) revealed significant differences between day, hour, and location and the interaction between location and hour (p < .001). Differences in the manner in which groups accumulated upright and sedentary time (sitting and lying) were found, with the ward-based groups sedentary for prolonged periods and upright for short episodes. This information may be used by clinicians to design appropriate rehabilitation interventions and monitor patient progress.

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P. Margaret Grant, Philippa M. Dall, Sarah L. Mitchell and Malcolm H. Granat

The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the accuracy of the activPAL physical activity monitor in measuring step number and cadence in older adults. Two pedometers (New-Lifestyles Digi-Walker SW-200 and New-Lifestyles NL-2000) used in clinical practice to count steps were simultaneously evaluated. Observation was the criterion measure. Twenty-one participants (65-87 yr old) recruited from community-based exercise classes walked on a treadmill at 5 speeds (0.67, 0.90, 1.12, 1.33, and 1.56 m/s) and outdoors at 3 self-selected speeds (slow, normal, and fast). The absolute percentage error of the activPAL was <1% for all treadmill and outdoor conditions for measuring steps and cadence. With the exception of the slowest treadmill speed, the NL-2000 error was <2%. The SW-200 was the least accurate device, particularly at slower walking speeds. The activPAL monitor accurately recorded step number and cadence. Combined with its ability to identify primary postures, the activPAL might be a useful and versatile device for measuring activity in older adults.

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Abolanle R. Gbadamosi, Alexandra M. Clarke-Cornwell, Paul A. Sindall and Malcolm H. Granat

Background: Actively commuting to and from work can increase moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and increase adherence to physical activity (PA) guidelines; however, there is a lack of evidence on the contribution of mixed-mode commutes and continuous stepping bouts to PA. Many commuting studies employ the use of self-reported PA measures. This study objectively determined the contribution of MVPA during commuting to total MVPA, using cadence to define MVPA, and explored how the length of stepping bouts affects adherence to PA guidelines. Methods: Twenty-seven university staff wore an activPAL activity monitor for seven days and kept an activity diary. The activPALquantified MVPA and bouts duration and the activity diary collected information about commute times and the modes of commute. Twenty-three participants with at least four days of data were included in the final analysis. Results: The median total time per day spent in MVPA was 49.6 (IQR: 27.4–75.8) minutes and 31% of the total time was accumulated during commuting (median = 15.2 minutes; IQR: 4.11–26.9). Walking and mixed-mode commuters spent more time in MVPA (37.6 and 26.9 minutes, respectively), compared to car commuters (5.8 minutes). Seventeen out of the 23 participants achieved more than 30 minutes of MVPA per day, with five achieving this in their commute alone. A significant positive association was found between commute time spent in MVPA and total MVPA (p < .001). Conclusion: Commuting can be a major contributor to total MVPA, with the mode of commute having a significant role in the level of this contribution to total MVPA.

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Philippa M. Dall, Dawn A. Skelton, Manon L. Dontje, Elaine H. Coulter, Sally Stewart, Simon R. Cox, Richard J. Shaw, Iva Čukić, Claire F. Fitzsimons, Carolyn A. Greig, Malcolm H. Granat, Geoff Der, Ian J. Deary, Sebastien F.M. Chastin and On behalf of the Seniors USP Team

The Seniors USP (Understanding Sedentary Patterns) study measured sedentary behavior (activPAL3, 9-day wear) in older adults. The measurement protocol had three key characteristics: enabling 24-hour wear (monitor location, waterproofing), minimizing data loss (reducing monitor failure, staff training, communication), and quality assurance (removal by researcher, confidence about wear). Two monitors were not returned; 91% (n = 700) of returned monitors had seven valid days of data. Sources of data loss included monitor failure (n = 11), exclusion after quality assurance (n = 5), early removal for skin irritation (n = 8), or procedural errors (n = 10). Objective measurement of physical activity and sedentary behavior in large studies requires decisional trade-offs between data quantity (collecting representative data) and utility (derived outcomes that reflect actual behavior).