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Angela Papadimitriou and Mark Perry

This systematic review aims to evaluate the efficacy of cognitive and behavioral interventions for improving fall-related psychological concerns. A systematic search yielded eight randomized controlled trials eligible for inclusion. All studies compared a cognitive and behavioral intervention with a control. The meta-analysis showed that cognitive and behavioral treatments had beneficial effects on fear of falling outcomes (lower score better) immediately after treatment (random-effects standardized mean difference [SMD]: −0.3, 95% confidence interval [CI] [−0.50, −0.10]) and at the longer term follow-up (random-effects SMD: −0.29, 95% CI [−0.49, −0.09]). Cognitive and behavioral treatments also showed a positive effect on falls efficacy outcomes (higher score better) immediately after treatment (fixed-effects SMD: 0.19, 95% CI [0.04, 0.34]) and over the longer term (fixed-effects SMD: 0.13, 95% CI [−0.00, 0.25]). However, the clinical significance of these effects on fear of falling and falls efficacy was unclear. Further work is required with best-practice comparators over a longer follow-up period.

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Anthony Musto, Kevin Jacobs, Mark Nash, Gianluca DelRossi and Arlette Perry

Background:

Pedometer programs can increase physical activity in sedentary individuals, a population that is at risk for developing metabolic syndrome and each of its individual components. Although the popular 10,000 steps/day recommendation has shown to induce many favorable health benefits, it may be out of reach for sedentary individuals. This study observed the effects of incremental increases in steps/day on metabolic syndrome components in sedentary overweight women.

Methods:

This study was a longitudinal, quasiexperimental design. Participants were recruited from a 12-week work-site pedometer program and grouped as either ‘active’ or ‘control’ after the intervention based on their steps/day improvement. Self-reported physical activity, pedometer assessed physical activity, BMI, resting heart rate, waist circumference, blood pressure, triglycerides, HDLC, and fasting glucose were measured before and after the program.

Results:

The active group showed significant within-group improvements in waist circumference and fasting glucose. Significant group differences were observed in resting heart rate, BMI, and systolic blood pressure; however, the changes observed in systolic blood pressure were not independent of weight loss.

Conclusions:

Incremental increases in steps/day induced favorable changes in some MetS components suggesting that this approach is a viable starting point for sedentary individuals that may find it difficult to initially accumulate 10,000 steps/day.

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Douglas E. Long, Lisa M. Gaetke, Stephen D. Perry, Mark G. Abel and Jody L. Clasey

The purpose of this study was to descriptively compare the physical activity and dietary intake of public school (PSC) versus home schooled children (HSC). Potential parental and home influences were also examined. Thirty six matched pairs of public school-home school children aged 7–11 years participated in this study. Each participant wore an activity monitor and recorded their dietary intake concurrently for seven consecutive days. PSC had significantly more total and weekday steps, and spent more time in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity compared with HSC. There were no differences in dietary intake between the two groups. These results suggest differences in physical activity between PSC and HSC and encourage further study of public and home school environments, in relation to the obesity epidemic.

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Noel Pollock, Claire Grogan, Mark Perry, Charles Pedlar, Karl Cooke, Dylan Morrissey and Lygeri Dimitriou

Low bone-mineral density (BMD) is associated with menstrual dysfunction and negative energy balance in the female athlete triad. This study determines BMD in elite female endurance runners and the associations between BMD, menstrual status, disordered eating, and training volume. Forty-four elite endurance runners participated in the cross-sectional study, and 7 provided longitudinal data. Low BMD was noted in 34.2% of the athletes at the lumbar spine, and osteoporosis in 33% at the radius. In cross-sectional analysis, there were no significant relationships between BMD and the possible associations. Menstrual dysfunction, disordered eating, and low BMD were coexistent in 15.9% of athletes. Longitudinal analysis identified a positive association between the BMD reduction at the lumbar spine and training volume (p = .026). This study confirms the presence of aspects of the female athlete triad in elite female endurance athletes and notes a substantial prevalence of low BMD and osteoporosis. Normal menstrual status was not significantly associated with normal BMD, and it is the authors’ practice that all elite female endurance athletes undergo dual-X-ray absorptiometry screening. The association between increased training volume, trend for menstrual dysfunction, and increased loss of lumbar BMD may support the concept that negative energy balance contributes to bone loss in athletes.

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Lesley Steinman, Mark Doescher, David Levinger, Cynthia Perry, Louise Carter, Amy Eyler, Semra Aytur, Angie L.I. Cradock, Kelly R. Evenson, Katie Heinrich, Jacqueline Kerr, Jill Litt, Yucel Severcan and Carolyn Voorhees

Background:

Recent research demonstrates the importance of targeting the built environment to support individual physical activity, particularly for people experiencing health disparities. Master plans to promote biking and/or pedestrians (BPMPs) are a potential method for environmental change. This descriptive study aims to provide a snapshot of plan attributes and better understand demographic, social and transportation characteristics of communities with BPMPs.

Methods:

We collected a census sample of BPMPs from 4 states. Population and commuting data were obtained from national statistics.

Results:

294 master plans were included, with most plans representing municipalities. 62% of plans targeted biking only, one-fifth targeted biking and walking, and 15% targeted walking only. The sampled locations have a similar demographic profile as the overall U.S. for median age and household income, people of color, high school education, and income inequality. The degree of racial diversity of sampled communities is slightly less than the U.S. average and the percentage of people who walk to work were slightly higher.

Conclusions:

Given that communities with master plans have a similar profile as the overall U.S., BPMPs could feasibly be spread to communities throughout the country. Further research is planned to describe BPMPs in detail toward informing future plan development.