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Samantha M. Gray, Joan Wharf Higgins and Ryan E. Rhodes

Despite its well-established benefits, physical activity engagement is low in the adult population; evidence suggests that this is especially a concern for women >60 years. The purpose of this mixed methods study was to explore the feasibility of a 6-week randomized control trial of self-determination theory-based dance and walking programs for older women. Primary outcomes were feasibility measures: recruitment, retention, and satisfaction. Secondary outcomes included self-reported physical activity, behavioral regulations, and psychological needs. Thirty-five women completed the study (M = 62.8 ± 4.8 years), representing 39% recruitment and 95% retention rate. Both programs were highly attended. Exploratory effect sizes for secondary measures were promising. Emergent themes highlighted the importance of servant leadership concepts in the group setting for motivating physical activity. Our findings provide support for expanding this trial to a full-scale study.

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Brad W. Willis, Katie Hocker, Swithin Razu, Aaron D. Gray, Marjorie Skubic, Seth L. Sherman, Samantha Kurkowski and Trent M. Guess

Context: Knee abduction angle (KAA), as measured by 3-dimensional marker-based motion capture systems during jump-landing tasks, has been correlated with an elevated risk of anterior cruciate ligament injury in females. Due to the high cost and inefficiency of KAA measurement with marker-based motion capture, surrogate 2-dimensional frontal plane measures have gained attention for injury risk screening. The knee-to-ankle separation ratio (KASR) and medial knee position (MKP) have been suggested as potential frontal plane surrogate measures to the KAA, but investigations into their relationship to the KAA during a bilateral drop vertical jump task are limited. Objective: To investigate the relationship between KASR and MKP to the KAA during initial contact of the bilateral drop vertical jump. Design: Descriptive. Setting: Biomechanics laboratory. Participants: A total of 18 healthy female participants (mean age: 24.1 [3.88] y, mass: 65.18 [10.34] kg, and height: 1.63 [0.06] m). Intervention: Participants completed 5 successful drop vertical jump trials measured by a Vicon marker-based motion capture system and 2 AMTI force plates. Main Outcome Measure: For each jump, KAA of the tibia relative to the femur was measured at initial contact along with the KASR and MKP calculated from planar joint center data. The coefficient of determination (r2) was used to examine the relationship between the KASR and MKP to KAA. Results: A strong linear relationship was observed between MKP and KAA (r2 = .71), as well as between KASR and KAA (r 2 = .72). Conclusions: Two-dimensional frontal plane measures show strong relationships to the KAA during the bilateral drop vertical jump.

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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.