A 6-wk group balance-training program was conducted with physically active older adults (based on American College of Sports Medicine requirements) to investigate the effect of dose-related static and dynamic balance-specific training. All participants, age 60–87 yr, continued their regular exercise program while adding balance training in 1 of 3 doses: three 20-min sessions/wk (n = 20), one 20-min session/wk (n = 21), or no balance training (n = 19). Static balance (single-leg-stance, tandem), dynamic balance (alternate stepping, limits of stability), and balance confidence (ABC) were assessed pre- and posttraining. Significant interactions were observed for time in single-leg stance, excursion in limits of stability, and balance confidence, with the greatest increase observed in the group that completed 3 training sessions/wk. The results demonstrate a dose-response relationship indicating that those who are already physically active can improve balance performance with the addition of balance-specific training.
Kristen K. Maughan, Kristin A. Lowry, Warren D. Franke and Ann L. Smiley-Oyen
Del N. Konopka, Robin P. Shook, Marian L. Kohut, Rosalie Vos Tulp and Warren D. Franke
The 6-min walk test (6MWT) is a common component of fitness assessments of older adults; however, differing course configurations might affect 6MWT performance. It is unclear how comparable 2 different configurations are. To determine the comparability of 2 courses, 35 adults ≥65 years of age completed two 6MWT, once walking around a 20- by 5-yd outdoor rectangle and once on an indoor oval track (circumference 144.3 yd). Scores for the 2 tests were internally consistent (intraclass correlation coefficient = .95). The participants walked farther on the oval track than around the rectangle (639 ± 19 vs. 582 ± 16 yd; p < .0001), but responses to the rectangular configuration could be readily estimated using the equation 66.7 yd + 0.807 × (oval walking distance), R 2 = .85. Thus, within-participant responses are similar across both 6MWT, but the course configuration affects the distance walked.
Kara A. Strand, Sarah L. Francis, Jennifer A. Margrett, Warren D. Franke and Marc J. Peterson
Exergaming may be an effective strategy to increase physical activity participation among rural older adults. This pilot project examined the effects of a 24-wk exergaming and wellness program (8 wk onsite exergaming, 16-wk wellness newsletter intervention) on physical activity participation and subjective health in 46 rural older adults. Sociodemographic data and self-reported physical activity were analyzed using descriptive statistics and Cochran’s Q, respectively. Qualitative data were reviewed, categorized on the basis of theme, and tabulated for frequency. Increased physical activity and perceived health were the most reported perceived positive changes. Significant increases in physical activity participation were maintained among participants who were physically inactive at baseline. Best-liked features were physical activity and socialization. Findings suggest that this pilot exergaming and wellness program is effective in increasing physical activity in sedentary rural older adults, increasing socialization, and increasing subjective physical health among rural older adults.
Ashleigh J. Sowle, Sarah L. Francis, Jennifer A. Margrett, Mack C. Shelley and Warren D. Franke
Rural-residing older adults (OA) are not meeting physical activity (PA) recommendations, such that identifying methods of increasing PA among OA remains an ongoing challenge. This study evaluated the effect of a community-based exergaming program on PA readiness-to-change and self-efficacy among rural-residing OA (n = 265). There was a significant (p = .008) increase in readiness-to-change classification from PRE to POST. Significant increases in self-efficacy, or confidence in their ability to be physically active for a prescribed period of time, were detected for 35 (p = .011) and 40 min (p = .035) of continuous PA. PA self-efficacy change for 35 min of continuous PA (F [3,137] = 3.973, p = .010) and 40 min of continuous PA (F [3,137) = 2.893, p = .038) were influenced by the interaction between PRE self-reported health and PRE PA readiness-to-change levels. Results suggest that an exergaming-themed PA intervention is effective at increasing PA participation and self-efficacy for PA among rural-residing OA.