The mission of the California Active Aging Project is to enable and encourage Californians over 50 years of age to lead healthier lives by promoting physical activity and creating social and physical environments that support active aging. The article briefly describes the approaches the California Department of Health Services is taking to promote physical activity to older adults. Integral to the selected approaches is the translation of research into practice, engagement of diverse agencies and organizations as partners, and strengthening of community capacity to promote physical activity.
Steven P. Hooker
Christine L. Wells and Steven P. Hooker
Physiological variables identified as important factors in athletic performance are discussed in relation to the spinal cord injured (SCI) athlete. These include body composition, pulmonary function, cardiorespiratory efficiency, muscular strength and endurance, and anaerobic power. SCI athletes are less fat and have a larger lean body mass than nonathletes, and male SCI are less fat than female SCI. Static lung volumes are usually below normal values in SCI subjects, but athletic SCI subjects tend to have higher values than sedentary SCI. Sedentary SCI subjects have lower aerobic power (O2max) than the general able-bodied (AB) sedentary population on tests of arm cranking or wheelchair ergometry. Low-lesion paraplegics generally achieve O2max values comparable to AB subjects. O2max is inversely related to level of injury, that is, the higher the SCI, the lower the O2max. However, elite SCI athletes are capable of achieving very high levels of O2max during arm exercise. SCI subjects respond well to strength and muscular endurance training. Paraplegic subjects achieve higher anaerobic power scores than quadriplegic subjects. Increases in O2max occur at about the same magnitude as in AB subjects. The required intensity level appears to be about 70–80% of maximal heart rate reserve.
Barbara E. Ainsworth and Steven P. Hooker
The health-enhancing benefits of regular physical activity have been theorized for thousands of years. Within the past 25 years, public health agencies, health-related organizations, and health-focused foundations have recognized regular physical activity as a major factor in preventing premature morbidity and mortality. Colleges and universities have experienced a paradigm shift in applying public health strategies to prepare graduates in understanding how to reduce the impact of sedentary lifestyles on health outcomes. For nearly 20 years, some kinesiology departments have expanded from traditional curricula to new courses and degrees in promoting physical activity in the community, the application of epidemiology concepts to physical activity, and the study of policy and environmental approaches to promoting physical activity. Given the high prevalence of physical activity insufficient to prevent premature morbidity and mortality, continuing educational efforts are needed to assure kinesiology students have the skills and information needed to promote physical activity in communities to people of all ages and abilities.
Steven P. Hooker, Janet Fulton and Lanay M. Mudd
Julie Freelove-Charton, Heather R Bowles and Steven Hooker
This study examined the association between health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and physical activity (PA) among adults with arthritis.
National 2003 2003 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey data for 51,444 adults, age ≥50 y, with physician-diagnosed arthritis were used to analyze the relationships between PA, self-reported health, HRQOL, and activity limitations related to arthritis.
The percentage of older adults with or without an activity limitation who reported fair/poor health or poor HRQOL was significantly higher in inactive persons compared to those who met PA recommendations (p < .0001). Older adults with and without limitations attaining either recommended or insufficient levels of PA were 39% to 70% less likely to report ≥14 unhealthy mental or physical days compared to inactive older adults (p < .0001).
Participation in PA at the recommended level was strongly associated with improved perceived health and higher levels of HRQOL; however, participation in some PA was clearly better than being inactive. These data were consistent for persons with arthritis despite the presence of an activity limitation.
Julian A. Reed, Steven P. Hooker, Suresh Muthukrishnan and Brent Hutto
To examine demographic characteristics and physical activity (PA) behaviors of trail users on a newly constructed 2-mile urban rail/trail (ie, abandoned rail line converted to a recreational trail).
A systematic evaluation process was initiated to monitor PA behaviors using the System for Observing Play and Recreation in Communities (SOPARC).
Slightly more males (n = 2578, 54%) than females (n = 2198, 46%) were observed using the rail/trail since its inception. A significant age group difference (F = 16.68, P < .001) was observed among users with the vast majority being adults (n = 3317, 69%). Women were 2.2 times more likely than men (95% CI 1.7−3.0) to be sedentary rather than vigorously active adjusted for age and race. Whites were 2.8 times more likely than nonwhites (95% CI 2.4−3.2) to engage in vigorous activity rather than walking, adjusted for age and gender. Rail/trail users resided on average 2.89 miles from the trail.
The most frequent users of the rail/trail were male, white adults, and observed PA varied for gender and age. More research is needed to better understand differences in patterns of trail use by various population groups.
Diane K. Ehlers, Jennifer Huberty, Matthew Buman, Steven Hooker, Michael Todd and Gert-Jan de Vreede
Commercially available mobile and Internet technologies present a promising opportunity to feasibly conduct ecological momentary assessment (EMA). The purpose of this study was to describe a novel EMA protocol administered on middle-aged women’s smartphones via text messaging and mobile Internet.
Women (N = 9; mean age = 46.2 ± 8.2 y) received 35 text message prompts to a mobile survey assessing activity, self-worth, and self-efficacy over 14 days. Prompts were scheduled and surveys were administered using commercial, Internet-based programs. Prompting was tailored to each woman’s daily wake/sleep schedule. Women concurrently wore a wrist-worn accelerometer. Feasibility was assessed via survey completion, accelerometer wear, participant feedback, and researcher notes.
Of 315 prompted surveys, 287 responses were valid (91.1%). Average completion time was 1.52 ± 1.03 minutes. One participant’s activity data were excluded due to accelerometer malfunction, resulting in complete data from 8 participants (n = 252 [80.0%] valid observations). Women reported the survey was easily and quickly read/completed. However, most thought the accelerometer was inconvenient.
High completion rates and perceived usability suggest capitalizing on widely available technology and tailoring prompting schedules may optimize EMA in middle-aged women. However, researchers may need to carefully select objective monitors to maintain data validity while limiting participant burden.
Philip J. Troped, Heather A. Whitcomb, Brent Hutto, Julian A. Reed and Steven P. Hooker
This study assessed test-retest reliability of an interviewer-administered trail survey.
An intercept survey was conducted with adults using 2 paved trails in Indiana and South Carolina (N = 295; mean age = 46.9 ± 18 y). The survey included items on frequency and duration of trail use for recreation and transportation, other patterns of trail use, and sociodemographic characteristics. Fifty-five adults completed the survey twice (2−16 d apart; mean = 7.4 ± 2.6 d). Test-retest reliability was assessed with Spearman rank correlation coefficients, Kappa coefficients, and percent agreement.
Kappa coefficients and percent agreement for 9 categorical items ranged from 0.65 to 0.96 and from 64.0% to 98.2%, respectively. Among these items, the lowest Kappas were found for perceived safety (0.65) and reported duration of visits for recreational purposes (0.67). Spearman rank correlation coefficients for travel distance to and on the trail and frequency of trail use during the past 7 days and past 4 weeks ranged from 0.62 to 0.93.
Though further assessments of this survey with different populations and types of trails may be warranted, its overall high reliability indicates it can be used by researchers and practitioners in its current form.
Julian A. Reed, Gilles Einstein, Erin Hahn, Steven P. Hooker, Virginia P. Gross and Jen Kravitz
To examine the impact of integrating physical activity with elementary curricula on fluid intelligence and academic achievement.
A random sample of 3rd grade teachers integrated physical activity into their core curricula approximately 30 minutes a day, 3 days a week from January 2008 to April 2008. Noninvasive fluid intelligence cognitive measures were used along with State-mandated academic achievement tests.
Experimental Group children averaged close to 1200 pedometer steps per integration day, thus averaging 3600 steps per week. Children in the Experimental Group performed significantly better on the SPM Fluid Intelligence Test. Children in the Experimental Group also performed significantly better on the Social Studies State mandated academic achievement test. Experimental Group children also received higher scores on the English/Language Arts, Math and Science achievements tests, but were not statistically significant compared with Control Group children. Children classified in Fitnessgram’s Healthy Fitness Zone for BMI earned lower scores on many of the SPM Fluid Intelligence components.
This investigation provides evidence that movement can influence fluid intelligence and should be considered to promote cognitive development of elementary-age children. Equally compelling were the differences in SPM Fluid Intelligence Test scores for children who were distinguished by Fitnessgram’s BMI cut points.
Brent Hutto, Patricia A. Sharpe, Michelle L. Granner, Cheryl L. Addy and Steven Hooker
Question order might affect self-reported regular physical activity (PA) measured with items from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) PA module.
A telephone survey was conducted using 2 forms (N = 1004, N = 212) with varying PA question order. The standard form presented moderate-PA, vigorous-PA, and walking questions, in that order, whereas the alternate form presented walking questions, followed by moderate-PA, and then vigorous-PA questions. Weighted, adjusted rates of vigorous PA, walking, meeting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendation for moderate or vigorous PA, and moderate PA from each form were compared.
Vigorous PA and walking were similar regardless of question order. Meeting the CDC recommendation for moderate or vigorous PA was reported less often with the alternate form among 18- to 34-year-olds. Less moderate PA was reported with the alternate form overall and among 18- to 34-year-olds, women, whites, and those with a high school education or less.
Estimating PA and walking across sociodemographic strata with differing patterns of PA requires asking moderate-PA and vigorous-PA questions before walking questions. Asking walking questions first might lead to bias, especially for moderate PA. Walking, added to a survey with BRFSS moderate and vigorous PA items, should be placed after moderate and vigorous PA. Walking questions first may cause bias, especially for moderate PA.