The authors investigated the use of Google Earth’s Street View option to audit the presence of built environment features that support older adults’ walking. Two raters conducted virtual (Street View) and in-the-field audits of 48 street segments surrounding urban and suburban assisted living sites in metropolitan Vancouver, BC, Canada. The authors determined agreement using absolute agreement. Their findings indicate that Street View may identify the presence of features that promote older adults’ walking, including sidewalks, benches, public washrooms, and destinations. However, Street View may not be as reliable as in-the-field audits to identify details associated with certain items, such as counts of trees or street lights; presence, features, and height of curb cuts; and sidewalk continuity, condition, and slope. Thus, the appropriateness of virtual audits to identify microscale built environment features associated with older adults’ walking largely depends on the purpose of the audits—specifically, whether the measurer seeks to capture highly detailed features of the built environment.
Anna M. Chudyk, Meghan Winters, Erin Gorman, Heather A. McKay, and Maureen C. Ashe
Samantha M. Gray, Peggy Chen, Lena Fleig, Paul A. Gardiner, Megan M. McAllister, Joseph H. Puyat, Joanie Sims-Gould, Heather A. McKay, Meghan Winters, and Maureen C. Ashe
Background: Physical activity confers many health benefits to older adults, and adopting activity into daily life routines may lead to better uptake. The purpose of this study was to test the effect of a lifestyle intervention to increase daily physical activity in older women through utilitarian walking and use of public transportation. Methods: In total, 25 inactive women with mean age (SD) of 64.1 (4.6) years participated in this pilot randomized controlled trial [intervention (n = 13) and control (n = 12)]. Seven-day travel diaries (trips per week) and the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (minutes per week) were collected at baseline, 3, and 6 months. Results: At 3 months, intervention participants reported 9 walking trips per week and 643.5 minutes per week of active transportation, whereas control participants reported 4 walking trips per week and 49.5 minutes per week of active transportation. Adjusting for baseline values, there were significant group differences favoring Everyday Activity Supports You for walking trips per week [4.6 (0.5 to 9.4); P = .04] and active transportation minutes per week [692.2 (36.1 to 1323.5); P = .05]. At 6 months, significant group differences were observed in walking trips per week [6.1 (1.9 to 11.4); P = .03] favoring the intervention (9 vs 2 trips per week). Conclusion: Given these promising findings, the next step is to test Everyday Activity Supports You model’s effectiveness to promote physical activity in older women within a larger study.
Isabel B. Rodrigues, Matteo Ponzano, Debra A. Butt, Joan Bartley, Zahra Bardai, Maureen C. Ashe, Philip D. Chilibeck, Lehana Thabane, John D. Wark, Jackie Stapleton, and Lora M. Giangregorio
Walking is a common activity among older adults. However, the effects of walking on health-related outcomes in people with low bone mineral density (BMD) are unknown. The authors included randomized controlled trials comparing walking to control in individuals aged ≥50 years with low BMD and at risk of fractures. The authors identified 13 randomized controlled trials: nine multicomponent interventions including walking, one that was walking only, and three Nordic walking trials. Most studies had a high risk of bias. Nordic walking may improve the Timed Up-and-Go values (1.39 s, 95% CI [1.00, 1.78], very low certainty). Multicomponent interventions including walking improved the 6-min walk test (39.37 m, 95% CI [21.83, 56.91], very low certainty) and lumbar spine BMD (0.01 g/cm2, 95% CI [0.00, 0.03], low certainty evidence). The effects on quality of life or femoral neck BMD were not significant. There were insufficient data on fractures, falls, or mortality. Nordic walking may improve physical functioning. The effects on other outcomes are less certain; one may need to combine walking with other exercises to be of benefit.
Lena Fleig, Megan M. McAllister, Penny Brasher, Wendy L. Cook, Pierre Guy, Joseph H. Puyat, Karim M. Khan, Heather A. McKay, and Maureen C. Ashe
To characterize patterns of sedentary behavior and physical activity in older adults recovering from hip fracture and to determine characteristics associated with activity.
Community-dwelling, Canadian adults (65 years+) who sustained hip fracture wore an accelerometer at the waist for seven days and provided information on quality of life, falls self-efficacy, cognitive functioning, and mobility.
There were 53 older adults (mean age [SD] 79.5 [7.8] years) enrolled in the study; 49 had valid data and demonstrated high levels of sedentary time (median [p10, p90] 591.3 [482.2, 707.2] minutes/day), low levels of light activity (186.6 [72.6, 293.7]), and MVPA (2 [0.1, 27.6]), as well as few daily steps (2467.7 [617.1, 6820.4]). Regression analyses showed that age, gender, gait speed, and time since fracture were associated with outcomes.
Older adults have long periods of sedentary time with minimal activity. Results are a call to action to encourage people to sit less and move more.
Matteo Ponzano, Jenna C. Gibbs, Jonathan D. Adachi, Maureen C. Ashe, Angela M. Cheung, Keith D. Hill, David Kendler, Aliya A. Khan, Caitlin McArthur, Alexandra Papaioannou, Lehana Thabane, John D. Wark, and Lora M. Giangregorio
Fear of falling is a common issue among older adults, which decreases quality of life and leads to an avoidance of activities they are still able to do. The goal of this secondary data analysis was to explore the relationship between fear of falling and exercise self-efficacy in 141 women with at least one nontraumatic Genant Grade 2 vertebral fracture. Fear of falling, exercise self-efficacy, history of falling, the number of falls, the use of assisting devices, and pain at rest or during movement were obtained using medical history and health status questionnaires. There was a negative association between fear of falling and exercise self-efficacy (pseudo R 2 = .253; p = .004), which persisted when the analysis was adjusted for history and number of falls, use of assistive devices, and pain at rest (pseudo R 2 = .329; p < .0001) or during movement (pseudo R 2 = .321; p < .0001). Fear of falling may be negatively associated with exercise self-efficacy in older women with vertebral fracture.