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Kenneth E. Mobily and Paula R. Mobily

The primary purpose of this investigation was to determine the internal consistency of the 60+ functional fitness test battery for older adults. A secondary purpose was to determine whether the number of trials recommended in the testing manual was optimal. Subjects were used from an ongoing study of a fitness program for community-dwelling older adults. Internal consistency coefficients for subtests of flexibility, agility, coordination, and strength were excellent. Post hoc analysis across trials indicated significant differences in means between early trials and later trials. Mean scores stabilized after two or three trials, depending on the subtest of interest. Data provided insight into the number of practice trials and amount of warm-up necessary to implement the 60+ functional fitness test battery in field settings.

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Michael R. Bracko and Gilbert W. Fellingham

Fifty-four female and 77 male hockey players ranging in age from 10–15 years volunteered for this study. Demographic data included: age (AGE) and years of playing experience (YPE). Off-ice tests included: height (HGT), body mass (BM), lean body mass (LBM), predicted body fat % (FAT%), 40-yard dash (40YD), vertical jump (VJ), push-ups/min (PUPS), sit-ups/min (SUPS), and sit-and-reach flexibility (S&R). On-ice performance skating tests included: acceleration (ACC), agility (AGL), and speed (SPD). On-ice anaerobic power (AnPow) was calculated using the formula of Watson and Sargeant (IS). Generally speaking, the females and males in this study had similar results in office fitness. The males consistently out-performed the females in the on-ice tests. It would be difficult for females to compete with or against same-aged males based on the fact that males are superior skaters.

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William J. Kraemer, N. Travis Triplett, Andrew C. Fry, L. Perry koziris, Jeffrey E. Bauer, James M. Lynch, Tim McConnell, Robert U. Newton, Scott E. Gordon, Richard C. Nelson and Howard G. Knuttgen

The purpose of this study was to provide an in-depth sports medicine profile of women college tennis players and determine the relationships among an array of performance and clinical variables. Thirty-eight non-resistance-trained women from NCAA Divisions I and III collegiate tennis teams participated. A comprehensive battery of performance tests was conducted on each subject, including measurements of dynamic, isometric, and isokinetic strength; joint laxity and flexibility; speed; agility; power and power endurance; peak oxygen consumption; body composition; and ball velocities of the serve, forehand, and backhand. It was found that no single variable strongly explains tennis performance. The low amount of shared variance of strength measures with ball velocities suggests that tennis skills play a large role in producing peak ball velocities in this group. Due to the large range observed in profiled variables, individual evaluation is needed for clinical and conditioning recommendations.

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C. Jessie Jones, Carter Rakovski, Dana Rutledge and Angela Gutierrez

Purpose:

To compare fitness of women with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) aged 50+ with performance standards associated with functional independence in late life.

Methods:

Data came from a longitudinal study tracking physical and cognitive function of 93 women with FMS and included the most recent symptoms, activity levels, and fitness assessments.

Results:

Most women performed below criterion-referenced fitness standards for all measures. Nearly 90% percent of those < 70 years scored below the standard for lower body strength. Only ~20% of respondents < 70 years old met the criteria for aerobic endurance. A third of those aged over 70 met the standard in agility and dynamic balance. Physical activity was positively associated with fitness performance, while pain and depression symptoms were negatively associated.

Discussion:

High proportions of women with FMS do not meet fitness standards recommended for maintaining physical independence in late life, indicating a risk for disability. Regular fitness assessments and targeted exercise interventions are warranted.

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Chiaki Tanaka, Yuki Hikihara, Kazunori Ohkawara and Shigeho Tanaka

This study examined the potential relationship between participation in physical activity (PA) assessed by triaxial accelerometry and physical fitness testing, including health-related and skill-related parameters of fitness, in 136 Japanese preschoolers (65 girls and 71 boys, 5.5 ± 0.6 years). In partial correlation analyses, grip strength and 20m shuttle run test were positively correlated with time spent in physical activity ratio (PAR) ≥ 4. Better scores on standing long jump distance and jump over and crawl under tests were associated with lower sedentary time and greater moderate-to-vigorous PA time and PAR ≥ 4 time, and increased physical activity level. Moreover, 25m run speed was positively correlated with time spent in PAR ≥ 4 and locomotive activity. These findings suggest that development of both health-related (muscle strength and aerobic fitness) and skill-related fitness (power, agility and speed) may make engagement in PA easier for preschool children, although further research on the cause-effect relationship is needed.

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Salma S.S. Hernández, Paula F. Sandreschi, Franciele C. da Silva, Beatriz A.V. Arancibia, Rudney da Silva, Paulo J.B. Gutierres and Alexandro Andrade

To identify and characterize the scientific literature on the effects of exercise on Alzheimer’s disease, research was conducted in the following databases: MEDLINE, CINAHL, Web of Science, and Scopus. These MeSH terms—“exercise”, “motor activity”, “physical fitness”, “Alzheimer disease”, and its synonyms in English—were used in the initial search to locate studies published between 2003 and 2013. After reading the 12 final articles in their entirety, two additional articles, found by a manual search, were included. Of these, 13 had beneficial results of exercise in Alzheimer’s disease. Given the results discussed here, the exercise may be important for the improvement of functionality and performance of daily life activities, neuropsychiatric disturbances, cardiovascular and cardiorespiratory fitness, functional capacity components (flexibility, agility, balance, strength), and improvements in some cognitive components such as sustained attention, visual memory, and frontal cognitive function in patients with AD.

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Roberta E. Rikli and C. Jessie Jones

Preventing or delaying the onset of physical frailty is an increasingly important goal because more individuals are living well into their 8th and 9th decades. We describe the development and validation of a functional fitness test battery that can assess the physiologic parameters that support physical mobility in older adults. The procedures involved in the test development were (a) developing a theoretical framework for the test items, (b) establishing an advisory panel of experts, (c) determining test selection criteria, (d) selecting the test items, and (e) establishing test reliability and validity. The complete battery consists of 6 items (and one alternative) designed to assess the physiologic parameters associated with independent functioning—lower and upper body strength, aerobic endurance, lower and upper body flexibility, and agility/dynamic balance. We also assessed body mass index as an estimate of body composition. We concluded that the tests met the established criteria for scientific rigor and feasibility for use in common community settings.

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Teddy W. Worrell, Laurie D. Booher and Karla M. Hench

The purpose of this study was to compare the injured versus noninjured lower extremity on three single-leg hop tests following inversion ankle sprain. Twenty-two subjects with a history of unilateral inversion ankle sprain participated in this study. Subjects performed the three single-leg hop tests (hop for distance, hop for time, and agility hop). An independent t test was used to compare extremities. No significant differences existed on any hop test for the 22 subjects. In 8 of the 22 subjects who reported pain with activities of daily living and/or sports activities, an independent t test revealed no significant difference on hop test performance between extremities. We conclude that these three single-leg hop tests lack sensitivity (validity) in detecting lower extremity performance deficits as reported by the subjects following inversion ankle sprain.

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Jeffrey Paszkewicz, Tristen Webb, Brian Waters, Cailee Welch McCarty and Bonnie Van Lunen

Clinical Scenario:

There is a high incidence of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury in adolescents participating in pivoting sports such as soccer, basketball, and handball. Most ACL injuries in athletes are noncontact injuries, with a mechanism of sudden deceleration, change in direction, or landing from a jump. These mechanisms coupled with an increase in contraction of the quadriceps have been shown as risk factors for ACL injuries. Injuries to the ACL may require surgery, a long rehabilitation, and the potential for reinjury. Studies have shown reductions in lower extremity injury rates using training protocols that focus on landing mechanics, balance training, strength training, and/or agility training. There has been some thought that starting preventive training programs with adolescent athletes may be the most effective approach to reducing adolescent ACL injuries.

Focused Clinical Question:

Can lower extremity injury-prevention programs effectively reduce ACL injury rates in adolescent athletes?

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Justin W.L. Keogh, Andrew Kilding, Philippa Pidgeon, Linda Ashley and Dawn Gillis

Dancing is a mode of physical activity that may allow older adults to improve their physical function, health, and well-being. However, no reviews on the physical benefits of dancing for healthy older adults have been published in the scientific literature. Using relevant databases and keywords, 15 training and 3 cross-sectional studies that met the inclusion criteria were reviewed. Grade B–level evidence indicated that older adults can significantly improve their aerobic power, lower body muscle endurance, strength and flexibility, balance, agility, and gait through dancing. Grade C evidence suggested that dancing might improve older adults’ lower body bone-mineral content and muscle power, as well as reduce the prevalence of falls and cardiovascular health risks. Further research is, however, needed to determine the efficacy of different forms of dance, the relative effectiveness of these forms of dance compared with other exercise modes, and how best to engage older adults in dance participation.