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  • Author: Silvia Aranda-García x
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Alba Pardo, Jim McKenna, Anna Mitjans, Berenguer Camps, Silvia Aranda-Garcia, Juanjo Garcia-Gil and Mariona Violan

Background:

Physicians’ own Physical Activity (PA) and other health-related habits influence PA promotion. The current study identifies the PA level, according to the current PA recommendations and other health-related habits of physicians from the Catalan Medical Council.

Methods:

2400 physicians (30–55 years) were randomly selected; each received a self-administered mailed questionnaire identifying medical specialization, work setting, health self-perception, body mass index (BMI), PA, and smoking habits.

Results:

762 physicians responded (52% female). Almost 1 in 2 (49.3%) exercised sufficiently, nearly all selfperceived good health, while 80.5% were nonsmokers. Almost 6 in 10 males reported overweight or obesity (56.9%) versus 18.2% of females. Active physicians dominated specific groups: (1) aged 45–55 years, (2) specializing either in primary care or surgery, (3) working in the private sector, (4) BMI < 25kg/m2, (5) perceiving themselves in good health, or (6) having free leisure time.

Conclusions:

Only half of Catalan physicians met current PA recommendations; male physicians were particularly at risk for overweight/obesity. Overweight and under-exercise were associated with private workplaces and positive health perceptions, meaning that it is it is now possible to target inactive and/or overweight Catalan physicians in future interventions.

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Silvia Aranda-García, Albert Busquets, Antoni Planas, Joan A. Prat-Subirana and Rosa M. Angulo-Barroso

Purpose:

Gait speed is related to physical function in older adults. This cross-sectional study examined the best predictors of maximal gait speed (MGS) among physical abilities, and general factors in healthy, rural community-dwelling older adults.

Methods:

MGS, muscle strength, and postural sway were measured in 55 community-dwelling participants (age, 72.1 ± 6.8, range 61–87 years; 72.7% women). Two stepwise regressions were used to find MGS predictors in two models: physical abilities and global.

Results:

Strength of knee extensors with 60° of knee flexion (KStrength60°) and maximal distance in the anterior-posterior direction with eyes closed explained 50.2% of MGS variance (p < .05) in the physical abilities model. KStrength60°, age, and level of physical activity explained 63.9% of MGS variance (p < .05) in the global model.

Conclusions:

Regardless of the model, KStrength60° was the best predictor of MGS in rural female older adults. Future research should examine the generalization of these findings to rural male older adults.

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Silvia Aranda-García, Albert Iricibar, Antoni Planas, Joan A. Prat-Subirana and Rosa M. Angulo-Barroso

This study evaluates the separate effect and retention of 12-week traditional (TE) and horse (HE) exercise programs on physical function in healthy older participants (61 to 87 years old). Thirty-eight participants were randomly assigned to three groups: TE (n = 17), HE (n = 10), and control group (n = 11). TE and HE underwent a supervised exercise program (3 day/week). Maximal gait speed, muscle strength, and body balance were assessed at weeks 0, 12, and 16. Only TE and HE displayed significant improvements (P < .05) in knee extensor strength, and only HE had faster gait speed. Marginal balance improvements were found only in HE in the medial-lateral direction. However, TE showed larger improvements in handgrip than HE. The largest retention was in knee extensor strength but most of the exercise effects were lost in the follow-up. Besides TE, exercise with a horse may be an alternative option to older adults, provided that they want to interact with the animal.