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Nobuo Takeshima, William F. Brechue, Setsuko Ueya and Kiyoji Tanaka

This study attempted to determine the accuracy of measuring heart rate by radial artery palpation in elderly individuals. Elderly (ELD; n = 26) and young (Y; n = 21) individuals completed 3 intensity levels of exercise on a treadmill, each carried out on a separate day. Participants determined their heart rate by palpating the radial artery (PR) after exercise. In ELD, there were significant differences between PR and electrocardiogram (ECG; p = .007). Heart-rate errors at each intensity of exercise were 7.2 ± 12.5, 6.6 ± 15.7, and 10.1 ± 16.5 beats/min. There were no differences in PR and ECG in Y. Fingertip sensitivity was significantly lower in ELD than in Y. A significant, negative correlation existed (r = -.56, n = 26) between heart-rate error and fingertip sensitivity in ELD. These data suggest that self-conducted PR by elderly individuals fails to accurately estimate heart rate. This appears to result from lessened vibrotactile sensitivity in the fingers.

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Kiyoji Tanaka, Ryosuke Shigematsu, Masaki Nakagaichi, Hunkyung Kim and Nobuo Takeshima

In Japan, 2 approaches have been adopted to assess health and functional status in older adults. One is a battery of physical-performance tasks. The other is estimation of physical vitality using biomedical risk factors. Previous research has examined strength and direction of the relationship between functional fitness and performance on activities of daily living. Vital-age tests have most often been used to assess risk for developing a variety of age-related diseases. The present study examined interrelationships among functional fitness and vital-age scores in Japanese women (N = 129, mean age = 71.9). The functional fitness test battery consisted of arm curls, walking around 2 cones, moving beans with chopsticks, and functional reach. The vital-age test battery consisted of 6 coronary heart disease risk factors (systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, abdominal girth, and hematocrit) and 5 physical-performance variables (oxygen uptake and heart rate at lactate threshold, side-to-side stepping, 1-leg balance with eyes closed, and forced expiratory volume).

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Tatsuhisa Takahashi, Akiyoshi Okada, Jun-ichiro Hayano and Nobuo Takeshima

To determine water immersion’s effect on heart rate (HR) and vagal tone, the authors examined HR and high-frequency R-R-interval variability in 7 healthy older adults at rest and during treadmill walking, starting at 3.0 km/hr and increasing 0.5 km/hr every 3 min at a 5% grade to exhaustion. Participants performed the test on land and then immersed in water to the xiphoid. HR at rest did not differ between water and land. During walking at 3.0 km/min, HR was significantly lower in water than on land, whereas at 4.5 and 5.0 km/min it was significantly higher (each p < .05). Peak HR at exhaustion was not significantly different between water and land. High-frequency amplitudes at rest and during exercise in water were not significantly different from those on land. The results suggest that resting vagus tone and vagal changes in response to walking exercise in elderly adults are not greatly affected by water immersion.

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Nobuo Takeshima, Masatoshi Nakata, Fumio Kobayashi, Kiyoji Tanaka and Michael L. Pollock

The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of head-out-of-water immersion (HOI) on elderly subjects’ heart rate (HR) and oxygen uptake (V̇O2) responses to graded walking exercise. Subjects were 15 elderly participants. who selected three walking speeds and exercised for 6 min at each intensity on land and in the water. HOI exercise was carried out with subjects immersed to the level of the axilla. HR response at a given V̇O2 during walking with HOI was similar to the values found for walking on land, in contrast to published data on young subjects. The findings are consistent with the hypothesis that water immersion-induced central redistribution of blood volume changes with advancing age and may lead to a difference in the HR–V̇O2 relationship during HOI walking in the elderly compared to the young. This has important implications for prescribing exercise to the elderly when using treadmill HR values for HOI walking training.

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Nobuo Takeshima, Keizo Shimada, Mohammod M. Islam, Hiroaki Kanehisa, Yoshie Ishida and William F. Brechue

To clarify the progression of muscle loss in nursing home residents, frail women (n = 16; age: 85 ± 9 years; residence time: 764 days) were assessed for physical activity, caloric intake, and site-specific muscle thickness (MTH) and subcutaneous fat thickness (SFT) using B-mode ultrasound at nine anatomical sites at four intervals over one year. Height, body weight, and BMI did not change. Physical activity (246 steps/day) and nutritional intake (1,441 kcal, 60.3 g protein/day) were unaltered throughout the study. Subjects experienced a significant, progressive loss of muscle indicated by decrements in anterior upper arm (20%), posterior upper arm (25%), abdomen (20%), subscapular (33%), anterior thigh (15%), posterior thigh (22%), anterior lower leg (11%), posterior lower leg (13%), and forearm (15%) MTH. At study inception, prevalence of sarcopenia was related to muscle loss in the upper leg, while upper body muscle wasting contributed to sarcopenia later and was unrelated to physical activity, nutritional input, or duration of residence.

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Daisuke Koizumi, Nicole L. Rogers, Michael E. Rogers, Mohammod M. Islam, Masanobu Kusunoki and Nobuo Takeshima

Background:

Although many Japanese older adults spend more than an hour each day walking for exercise, the intensity is often lower than the minimum level associated with various health benefits. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a lifestyle physical activity intervention on improving quantity and quality of daily physical activity (DPA) as well as cardiorespiratory endurance in community-dwelling older women.

Methods:

68 women (60–78 yr of age) were randomly assigned to either a lifestyle physical activity intervention group (LIFE) or control group. During the 12-wk intervention, feedback based on accelerometer DPA data (number of daily steps (STEPS) and time spent performing daily moderate intensity physical activity (MPA) was provided to each participant in LIFE every two weeks. Cardiorespiratory endurance was evaluated using the 12-Minute Walk Test (12-MW).

Results:

Following the 12-wk intervention, significant group interactions were observed for STEPS, MPA, and cardiorespiratory endurance. LIFE increased STEPS by 16%, MPA by 53%, and the distance walked during the 12-MW by 10%.

Conclusions:

Promotion of DPA using accelerometers can significantly improve quantity and quality of daily physical activity as well as cardiorespiratory endurance in older women.