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Erwin C.P.M. Tak, Jannique G.Z. van Uffelen, Mai J.M. Chin A Paw, Willem van Mechelen and Marijke Hopman-Rock

After a randomized controlled trial showing that improvement on some aspects of cognitive function was related to adherence to an exercise program, determinants of adherence and maintenance were further studied. Older adults with mild cognitive impairment were contacted 6 mo after the end of exercise programs for a telephone interview addressing patterns of adherence and determinants of maintenance. Mean adherence during the trial was 53%. About one third of participants had lapses during the trial but completed, one third had no lapses, and one third dropped out or never started. Practical barriers (time, location) were related to not starting and functional limitations to dropout. After the trial 25% of participants continued the programs, 14% reported intention to continue, and 61% quit. Maintenance was determined by fewer health complaints, higher satisfaction with the programs, and better adherence during the programs. Although maintenance was low, this study identified several reasons and barriers to adherence and maintenance that could be addressed.

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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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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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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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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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Saija Karinkanta, Ritva Nupponen, Ari Heinonen, Matti Pasanen, Harri Sievänen, Kirsti Uusi-Rasi, Mikael Fogelholm and Pekka Kannus

This randomized, controlled trial evaluated the effects of exercise on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and fear of falling (FoF) among 149 home-dwelling older women. The 12-mo exercise program was intended to reduce the risk of falls and fractures. HRQoL was assessed by the RAND-36 Survey, and FoF, with a visual analog scale, at baseline, 12 mo, and 24 mo. On all RAND-36 scales, the scores indicated better health and well-being. The exercise had hardly any effect on HRQoL; only the general health score improved slightly compared with controls at 12 mo (p = .019), but this gain was lost at 24 mo. FoF decreased in both groups during the intervention with no between-groups difference at 12 or 24 mo. In conclusion, despite beneficial physiological changes, the exercise intervention showed rather limited effects on HRQoL and FoF among relatively high-functioning older women. This modest result may be partly because of insufficient responsiveness of the assessment instruments used.

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Leon Mabire, Ramakrishnan Mani, Lizhou Liu, Hilda Mulligan and David Baxter

Background:

Brisk walking is the most popular activity for obesity management for adults. We aimed to identify whether participant age, sex and body mass index (BMI) influenced the effectiveness of brisk walking.

Methods:

A search of 9 databases was conducted for randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Two investigators selected RCTs reporting on change in body weight, BMI, waist circumference, fat mass, fat-free mass, and body fat percentage following a brisk walking intervention in obese adults.

Results:

Of the 5072 studies screened, 22 met the eligibility criteria. The pooled mean differences were: weight loss, –2.13 kg; BMI, –0.96 kg/m2; waist circumference, –2.83 cm; fat mass, –2.59 kg; fat-free mass, 0.29 kg; and body fat percentage, –1.38%. Meta-regression of baseline BMI showed no effect on changes.

Conclusions:

Brisk walking can create a clinically significant reduction in body weight, BMI, waist circumference, and fat mass for obese men and women aged under 50 years. Obese women aged over 50 years can achieve modest losses, but gains in fat-free mass reduce overall change in body weight. Further research is required for men aged over 50 years and on the influence of BMI for all ages and sexes.

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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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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.