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Rachel A. Millstein, Katherine D. Hoerster, Dori E. Rosenberg, Karin M. Nelson, Gayle Reiber and Brian E. Saelens

Background:

Sedentary behavior is an increasingly recognized health risk factor, independent of physical activity. Although several correlates of sedentary behavior are known, little research has identified them among U.S. veterans, a population that faces disproportionate chronic disease burden.

Methods:

A survey was mailed to 1997 randomly selected veterans at a large urban Veterans Affairs medical center in 2012 and remailed in 2013 to nonresponders, resulting in a 40% response rate. We examined individual-, social-, and neighborhood-level factors in association with self-reported sitting time. Factors correlated with sitting time at P < .05 were included in a multiple linear regression model.

Results:

In the multivariate model, higher depression (B = 7.8), body mass index (B = 5.1), functional impairment (B = 4.2), and self-rated health (B = 68.5) were significantly associated with higher sitting time, and leisure time physical activity (B = –0.10) and being employed (B = –71.3) were significantly associated with lower sitting time.

Conclusions:

Individual-level, but not social- and neighborhood-level, variables were associated with sitting time in this population. This study identified individual-level targets for reducing sitting time and improving overall health among veterans.

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Kathryn E. Wilson, Bhibha M. Das, Ellen M. Evans and Rodney K. Dishman

Background:

A positive association between physical activity and mental health is well established, particularly for lower symptoms of depression and anxiety among active adults. However, it is unclear whether the association is influenced by personality, which might moderate or otherwise explain the association. In addition, past studies have not confirmed the association using an objective measure of physical activity.

Objective:

Our objective was to examine whether Extraversion and Neuroticism influence the association between mental health and physical activity measured by convergent self-reports and an accelerometer.

Methods:

Structural equation modeling was used to test competing models of the relationships between personality, physical activity, and mental health in a sample of female undergraduates.

Results:

In bivariate analysis, mental health was negatively related to Neuroticism and positively related to Extraversion, self-reported physical activity (which was related only to Extraversion, positively), and objective physical activity (which was related only to Neuroticism, negatively). In structural equation modeling, a 3-way interaction indicated that objective physical activity and mental health were unrelated in extraverts, but related positively in neurotic-introverts and negatively in stable-introverts.

Conclusions:

Higher levels of physical activity were associated with better mental health only in neurotic-introverts, who are at higher risk for mental health problems.

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Anamica Batra, Stefany Coxe, Timothy F. Page, Michael Melchior and Richard C. Palmer

Despite the well-known benefits of exercise, only 50% of U.S. women met recommended physical activity levels in 2014. To combat this issue, the Healthy Aging Regional Collaborative of South Florida has been offering the EnhanceFitness (EF) program in community-based settings since 2008. In the current study, we examined the factors associated with the program completion among older women (≥ 60 years). During the first 4 years, 3,829 older women attended EF sessions. Of these, 924 (24.2%) attended the recommended 32 sessions within first 4 months. Results revealed that women who lived in Miami-Dade County, were ≥ 80 years, and did not report depression and/or risk factors for chronic conditions were more likely to complete EF. Black women were less likely to complete the program. Recognition of these factors might help identify at-risk individuals. More efforts are needed to improve completion rates. Theory-based interventions would allow comprehensive understanding of all factors and, therefore, should be explored in the future.

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Dennis W. Klima, Roberta A. Newton, Emily A. Keshner and Adam Davey

Studies examining fear of falling among older adult men remain limited. The objectives of this study were to compare balance confidence in 2 age cohorts of older clergy and identify predictive determinants of balance confidence in a liturgical research initiative. Participants included 131 community-dwelling Roman Catholic priests age 60–97 yr living in religious communities in 10 mid-Atlantic states. Subjects completed the Activities-specific Balance Confidence Scale (ABC), Berg Balance Scale (BBS), timed up-and-go (TUG) test, and 15-item Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS). Younger priests (60–74 yr) demonstrated a significantly higher ABC score than the older cohort (75 and above yr) of priests (89.1 ± 12.6 vs.78.4 ± 13.9, p = .001). Confidence was significantly correlated with BBS (rho = .69, p < .01), TUG (r = –.58, p < .01), and GDS (r = –.39, p < .01) scores. A stepwise-regression model demonstrated that balance ability, mood, assistive-device use, and physical activity predicted 52% of the variance in balance confidence.

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Cristina Jácome, Joana Cruz, Raquel Gabriel, Daniela Figueiredo and Alda Marques

This study assessed functional balance among older adults at all grades of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and explored balance impairment predictors. A cross-sectional study with outpatients with COPD (N = 160; M = 72.2 years, SD = 7.9; mean forced expiratory volume in 1 s = 63.8% predicted, SD = 23.7) was conducted. The Timed Up and Go (TUG) test was used to assess functional balance. Functional balance impairment was defined as a TUG score exceeding the upper limit of the confidence intervals of normative values for healthy older adults. Participants performed the TUG test in 11.0 s (SD = 4.8 s). Functional balance impairment was present in 44.4% of the participants and was significantly more frequent in severe to very severe COPD (62.5%). Body mass index (odds ratio [OR] = 1.12), number of medications (OR = 1.20), restriction in recreational activities (OR = 1.66), and depression score (OR = 1.14) were multivariate predictors of functional balance impairment. Functional balance impairment is present in early COPD, although more evident at advanced grades. These findings highlight the importance of balance assessment in older patients at all COPD grades.

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James M. Robbins and Paul Joseph

The types and frequency of sensations experienced by runners when required to miss a run or series of runs was studied. Most of 345 runners of various weekly mileage levels reported some kind of distress; irritability, restlessness, frustration, guilt, and depression were reported most often. Sleeping problems, digestive difficulties, and muscle tension and soreness were reported less frequently. Three causes of exercise withdrawal were proposed: (a) a misinterpretation of the return of dysphoria that had been temporarily masked by the effects of running; (b) an inability to cope with stress in periods when the coping mechanism of running is temporarily unavailable; and (c) the loss of regular, predictable reinforcement of feelings of self-fulfillment gained through success or achievement in previously unimagined and unattainable ways. Results, based on cross-sectional data, were consistent with these hypotheses but do not rule out alternative explanations. The reciprocal nature of number of miles run in an average week and exercise deprivation sensations was also studied. Results indicated that runners tended to run longer in order to avoid the negative sensations that would come from not running, but that an escalation in mileage did not necessarily result in more frequent experiences of distress when not able to run.

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Paul D. Loprinzi

Objective:

High family functioning is associated with reduced depression symptoms, better academic achievement, less disordered eating, and better metabolic control among youth. However, we know very little about the role of family functioning on physical activity and sedentary behavior among youth, which was the purpose of this study.

Methods:

Data from the 2003 and 2011–2012 cycles of the National Survey of Children’s Health were used. A total of 61,226 parents/guardians from the 2003 cycle and 40,446 parents/guardians from the 2011–2012 cycle (total n = 101,672) across all 50 states and the District of Columbia were examined. Parents answered questions related to family functioning and their child’s (age 6–17 yrs) physical activity and sedentary behavior.

Results:

Results were the same across both cycles; after adjustments, youth engaged in less physical activity if the family had worse family functioning (β = −0.06, P < .001). Similarly, youth engaged in more sedentary behavior if the family had worse family functioning (β = 0.05, P < .001).

Conclusion:

This research suggests that youth are more active and engage in less sedentary behavior if their family has greater family functioning.

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Alyson J. Littman, Isabel G. Jacobson, Edward J. Boyko and Tyler C. Smith

Background:

Understanding physical activity (PA) after discharge from the military can inform theory on the role of habit and reinforcement in behavior maintenance and has implications for this population’s future health.

Methods:

Using data from 28,866 Millennium Cohort Study participants (n = 3782 of whom were discharged during the years between assessments), we 1) investigated changes in meeting federal PA guidelines for moderate-to-vigorous activity (MVPA) following military discharge and 2) determined predictors of meeting these guidelines after discharge.

Results:

MVPA declined more in those who were discharged than in those who were not (−17.8 percentage points vs. −2.7 percentage points), with greater declines in former active-duty personnel, those who had deployed with combat exposures, had 14 to 25 years of service, and had been discharged more recently (>2 years prior). In those who were discharged, being normal or overweight (vs. obese), and a nonsmoker or former smoker (vs. current smoker) were positively associated with meeting MVPA Guidelines at follow-up, while meeting MVPA Guidelines at baseline and depression were inversely associated.

Conclusions:

Reductions in MVPA were substantial and unexpected. Increased understanding of transitional periods that may benefit from interventions to mitigate declines in PA will help prevent excess weight gain and physical inactivity-associated health consequences.

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Rodrigo de Marche Baldon, Daniel Ferreira Moreira Lobato, Lívia Pinheiro Carvalho, Paulo Roberto Pereira Santiago, Benedito Galvão Benze and Fábio Viadanna Serrão

The purposes of this study were to compare lower-limb kinematics between genders, and determine the relationships among eccentric hip abductor and lateral rotator torques and lower-limb kinematics. The movements of the pelvis, femur, and knee were calculated for 16 women and 16 men during the single-leg squat. Eccentric hip abductor and lateral rotator torques were measured using an isokinetic dynamometer. The results showed that women had greater contralateral pelvic depression, femur adduction, and knee abduction than men. The eccentric hip abductor and lateral rotator torques were correlated with coronal plane femur and knee movements in the overall sample. When the genders were analyzed separately, it was observed that women with greater eccentric hip abductor torque exhibited less femur adduction and femur medial rotation, and greater knee adduction excursion. No significant relationship was observed between the isokinetic and kinematic variables in the male group. The differences between the genders help to explain the greater rate of knee disorders observed in women. Moreover, the eccentric hip abduction action seemed to be more important in women to control the lower-limb movements.

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Leena Hakola, Kai Savonen, Pirjo Komulainen, Maija Hassinen, Rainer Rauramaa and Timo A. Lakka

Background:

Little is known about factors that modify the effectiveness of exercise interventions in increasing exercise. We aimed to identify moderators of the effectiveness of aerobic exercise intervention in maintaining increased aerobic exercise among older individuals.

Methods:

The participants of a 4-year randomized controlled trial were a population sample of 1410 men and women aged 57 to 78 years. The aerobic exercise group included 185 individuals and the control group included 169 individuals who reported low aerobic exercise at baseline. Maintained increase in aerobic exercise was defined as at least 60-minute increase in moderate-to-heavy aerobic exercise per week from baseline to 2- and 4-year assessments.

Results:

Individuals in the aerobic exercise group were 2.5 (95% CI 1.5 to 3.9) times more likely to maintain increased aerobic exercise than those in the control group. Individuals aged < 68.5 years but not older individuals succeeded in maintaining increased aerobic exercise in the intervention group (P = .02 for interaction). Individuals who were past smokers (P = .02 for interaction), were working (P = .05 for interaction), or had symptoms of depression (P = .05 for interaction) succeeded better in maintaining increased aerobic exercise in the intervention group than other individuals.

Conclusions:

These findings help in more precise targeting of future exercise interventions among older individuals.