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Margie E. Lachman, Shevaun D. Neupert, Rosanna Bertrand and Alan M. Jette

The authors examined whether resistance training has an effect on working memory span. Participants included 210 community-residing older adults with at least one disability from the Strong for Life program, a randomized controlled trial that examined the effects of home-based resistance exercise. Memory was assessed with the WAIS backward digit span at baseline and 3 and 6 months into the intervention. Although there were no differences between the experimental treatment and control groups in average levels of memory change, within the treatment group change in resistance level during the intervention was a significant predictor of memory change, controlling for age, education, sex, and disability level. The results suggest that strength training can benefit memory among older adults, especially when using higher resistance levels.

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Seung-Youn Hong, Susan Hughes and Thomas Prohaska

Background:

Many different constructs are used currently in the literature to assess exercise adherence. This study examined whether the same or different variables predict exercise attendance and exercise completion among sedentary older adults.

Methods:

Thirty-seven randomized control trials were selected from articles published between 1980 and 2000 that tested exercise interventions for sedentary older adults. Block-entry, weighted, hierarchical meta-regression analyses were conducted.

Results:

Different factors predicted attendance and completion. Group-based (P < .05) and resistance exercise (P < .1) predicted higher attendance rates than individual-based and aerobic exercise. In contrast, facility-based exercise was associated with higher completion rates than home-based exercise (P < .1).

Conclusions:

Results show that completing a program is not synonymous with good attendance. Program designers need to consider different strategies to boost both of these rates that need to be maximized to best benefit program participants.

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Kathleen Benjamin, Nancy Edwards, Jenny Ploeg and Frances Legault

Despite the benefits of physical activity, residents living in long-term care (LTC) are relatively sedentary. Designing successful physical activity and restorative care programs requires a good understanding of implementation barriers. A database search (2002–2013) yielded seven studies (nine articles) that met our inclusion criteria. We also reviewed 31 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to determine if the authors explicitly discussed the barriers encountered while implementing their interventions. Eleven RCTs (13 articles) included a discussion of the barriers. Hence, a total of 18 studies (22 articles) were included in this review. Barriers occurred at resident (e.g., health status), environmental (e.g., lack of space for physical activity), and organizational (e.g., staffing and funding constraints) levels. These barriers intersect to adversely affect the physical activity of older people living in LTC. Future studies targeting physical activity interventions for residents living in LTC are needed to address these multiple levels of influence.

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Elissa Burton, Gill Lewin and Duncan Boldy

The proportion of older people living in our communities is rising and, to live independently, some require assistance from home care services. Physical activity can improve and maintain function, strength, and balance, which are important for those receiving home care. This study reviewed the evidence on physical activity/exercise interventions trialed with older people receiving a home care service. A systematic review of studies published from January 1982 to September 2012, from five databases, was undertaken. Inclusion criteria were: aged 65+ years; community dwelling; no dementia diagnosis; receiving home care services; and a physical activity/exercise program. Eight articles were included and results show there were few consistencies between intervention types, groups, outcome measures, and follow-up. Study quality was mixed. Future studies should include pragmatic randomized controlled trials involving home care practitioners and their clients to gain “real-world” knowledge of what interventions are effective and can be delivered within this setting.

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Jakob Tarp, Lars B. Andersen and Lars Østergaard

Background:

Cycling to and from school is an important source of physical activity (PA) in youth but it is not captured by the dominant objective method to quantify PA. The aim of this study was to quantify the underestimation of objectively assessed PA caused by cycling when using accelerometry.

Methods:

Participants were 20 children aged 11 to 14 years from a randomized controlled trial performed in 2011. Physical activity was assessed by accelerometry with the addition of heart rate monitoring during cycling to school. Global positioning system (GPS) was used to identify periods of cycling to school.

Results:

Mean minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) during round-trip commutes was 10.8 (95% CI: 7.1−16.6). Each kilometer of cycling meant an underestimation of 9314 (95% CI: 7719−11238) counts and 2.7 (95% CI: 2.1−3.5) minutes of MVPA. Adjusting for cycling to school increased estimates of MVPA/day by 6.0 (95% CI: 3.8−9.6) minutes.

Conclusions:

Cycling to and from school contribute substantially to levels of MVPA and to mean counts/min in children. This was not collected by accelerometers. Using distance to school in conjunction with self-reported cycling to school may be a simple tool to improve the methodology.

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Dorothy Pekmezi, Shira Dunsiger, Ronnesia Gaskins, Brooke Barbera, Becky Marquez, Charles Neighbors and Bess Marcus

Background:

Due to high rates of inactivity and related chronic illnesses among Latinas,1 the current study examined the feasibility and acceptability of using pedometers as an intervention tool in this underserved population.

Methods:

Data were taken from a larger randomized, controlled trial2 and focused on the subsample of participants (N = 43) who were randomly assigned to receive a physical activity intervention with pedometers and instructions to log pedometer use daily and mail completed logs back to the research center each month for 6 months.

Results:

Retention (90.7% at 6 months) and adherence to the pedometer protocol (68.89% returned ≥ 5 of the 6 monthly pedometer logs) were high. Overall, participants reported increased physical activity at 6 months and credited pedometer use for helping them achieve these gains (75.7%). Participants who completed a high proportion (≥ 5/6) of pedometer logs reported significantly greater increases in physical activity and related process variables (stages of change, self-efficacy, behavioral processes of change, social support from friends) than those who were less adherent (completed < 5 pedometer logs).

Conclusions:

Pedometers constitute a low-cost, useful tool for encouraging self-monitoring of physical activity behavior in this at-risk group.

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Harriet G. Williams and Gerhild Ullmann

Background:

Falls and fall-related injuries are critical issues for older adults; evidence indicates that multidimensional interventions that address modifiable risk factors can be successful in reducing falls. Few evidence-based fall prevention interventions exist due, in part, to complex issues associated with development and implementation. There is a need for a variety of such programs from which older adults may choose. We describe steps, outcomes, and issues involved in developing/implementing an evidenced-based fall prevention program in community settings.

Methods:

The Stay In Balance program (SIB), developed by a team of professionals, local service providers and active older adults, was carried out with total of 135 older adults in several steps: developing objectives and program content, laboratory-based randomized controlled trial (RCT), pilot program in the community, community-based RCT, and implementation at 2 community sites.

Results:

Each step in development provided useful and different insights into needed changes in program content, equipment, support materials, training, and appropriate outcome measures.

Conclusion:

Development of an evidenced-based fall prevention program requires a long term commitment on the part of all partners, University personnel, local service providers, and older adult participants; funding is also critical.

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Edward M. Phillips, Jeffrey Katula, Michael E. Miller, Michael P. Walkup, Jennifer S. Brach, Abby C. King, W. Jack Rejeski, Tim Church and Roger A. Fielding

Objectives:

To examine baseline characteristics and change in gait speed and Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) scores in participants medically suspended (MS) from a physical activity intervention (PA).

Design:

Randomized controlled trial.

Setting:

University and community centers.

Participants:

Sedentary older adults (N = 213) randomized to PA in the Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders Pilot (LIFE-P).

Measurements:

MS was defined as missing 3 consecutive PA sessions in adoption and transition phases or 2 wk in maintenance phase because of a health event.

Results:

In all, 122 participants completed PA without MS (NMS subgroup), 48 participants underwent MS and resumed PA (SR subgroup), and 43 participants underwent MS and did not complete PA (SNR subgroup). At baseline, SNR walked slower (p = .03), took more prescribed medications (p = .02), and had lower SPPB scores than NMS and SR (p = .02). Changes from baseline to Month 12 SPPB scores were affected by suspension status, adjusted mean (SE) SPPB change: SNR 0.0957 (0.3184), SR 0.9413 (0.3063), NMS 1.0720 (0.1871); p = .03.

Conclusions:

MS participants unable to return to complete the PA in a trial of mobility-limited sedentary older adults had slower walking speeds, lower SPPB scores, and a higher number of prescribed medications at baseline. Change in SPPB scores at 12 months was related to suspension status.

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Rachel S. Mark and Ryan E. Rhodes

Background:

Interactive stationary bikes provide positive affective experiences and physiological benefits; however, research is limited.

Methods:

This study compared usage of GameBikes to traditional stationary bikes among families in the home following a 6-week randomized, controlled trial design. Parents completed questionnaires featuring constructs of the theory of planned behavior (TPB). Usage was tracked by all family members and belief elicitation with GameBike families followed the trial.

Results:

Usage across the trial was significantly different for children in favor of the GameBike group (t 36 = 2.61, P = .01, d = .85). No differences were identified for parents. Significant time effects for parents’ (F 5,48 = 5.07, P < .01; η2 = .35) and children’s (F 5,32 = 8.24, P < .01; η2 = .56) usage were found with declines across 6 weeks. Affective attitude was the only significant TPB variable between groups at both time one (t 57 = 2.53, P = .01; d = .65) and follow-up (t 52 = 2.70, P = .01; d = .74) in favor of the GameBike group. Elicited beliefs were primarily affective- and control-based.

Conclusions:

The results provide support for use of interactive video games to augment current PA initiatives. Larger-scale trials with longer durations are warranted.

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Bruce A. Reeder, Karen E. Chad, Elizabeth L. Harrison, Nigel L. Ashworth, M. Suzanne Sheppard, Koren L. Fisher, Brenda G. Bruner, Brian G. Quinn, Punam Pahwa and M. Alomgir Hossain

Background:

The study aimed to compare the effectiveness of a class-based (CB) and home-based (HB) exercise program for older adults with chronic health conditions.

Methods:

172 sedentary older adults with overweight or obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, or osteoarthritis were enrolled in a randomized controlled trial with a 3-month follow-up.

Results:

A significant increase was seen in the CB group in the Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly (PASE) scores and SF-12 Physical and Mental Health scores. In both groups, significant increases were seen in 6-minute walk distance, Physical Performance Test (PPT), and Functional Fitness Test (FFT), and significant reductions were seen in systolic and diastolic blood pressure but not body mass index or waist circumference. Except for a greater increment in the FFT in the CB group, the degree of improvement was not significantly different between the 2 groups.

Conclusion:

After a 3-month intervention, both the CB and HB program produced comparable significant improvements in outcome measures.