This study investigated the relationships between muscle echo intensity (EI), physical activity (PA), and functional mobility in 108 Japanese (88–92 years). We measured EI and muscle thickness (MT) at the midpoint of the anterior superior iliac spine and patella using B-mode ultrasound. Light and moderate-to-vigorous PA (LPA and MVPA) were assessed with a triaxial accelerometer. The timed up and go (TUG) test was used to measure for functional mobility. EI, but not MT, was significantly associated with both TUG scores (β = 0.17, p = .047) and MVPA (β = –0.31, p = .01) when adjusted by potential confounders. However, association between EI and TUG disappeared after adjusted for MVPA. Meanwhile, MVPA was significantly associated with TUG scores independent of EI (β = –0.35, p < .001). Although EI of anterior thigh muscles might be a weaker predictor of functional morbidity than MVPA, it is a noninvasive and practical approach for assessing muscle quality in the very old.
Yusuke Osawa, Yasumichi Arai, Yuko Oguma, Takumi Hirata, Yukiko Abe, Koichiro Azuma, Michiyo Takayama and Nobuyoshi Hirose
This paper challenges the popular argument that sport is an effective channel for upward mobility, especially for ethnic minorities. My study of retired professional soccer players in Israel establishes the following findings: First, members of the subordinate ethnic group are disadvantaged in attainment of status not only in schools and labor markets but also in and via sport. Second, a professional career in sport does not intervene between background variables and later occupational attainment. Third, both ethnicity and educational level are the most significant determinants of postretirement occupational attainment; higher education and higher ethnic status improve opportunities for later occupational success. On the basis of these findings it is suggested that the same rules of inequality that push individuals to seek alternative routes of mobility, such as professional sport, continue to operate in and beyond sport.
Sylvia Titze, Willibald J. Stronegger, Susanne Janschitz and Pekka Oja
To examine the association between environmental, social, and personal factors and cycling for transportation among university students.
Five hundred and thirty-eight university students participated in the questionnaire study. Multi-nominal regression analysis was applied to identify associations between independent variables and cycling behavior.
Forty-one percent of the students were regular cyclists and 15% irregular cyclists. Regular cycling was negatively associated with the perception of traffic safety and positively associated with high safety from bicycle theft, many friends cycling to the university, high emotional satisfaction, little physiological effort, and high mobility. Irregular cycling was positively related with environmental attractiveness and little physiological effort.
Improving bicycle parking security and promoting peer support for and positive psychological experiences and convenient mobility of cycling may increase this transport mode among university students.
Robert H. Wood, Rafael Reyes-Alvarez, Brian Maraj, Kristi L. Metoyer and Michael A. Welsch
It has been suggested that physical and cognitive functions are associated with health-related quality of life (HRQL). Previous work examining the relationship between physical ability and HRQL is equivocal, and information about cognitive function in relation to HRQL is largely restricted to people with cognitive impairments. We investigated the relationships of physical ability and cognitive performance to HRQL in 44 older adults (72-93 years). The results suggest significant relationships between the endurance item of the AAHPERD test and the physical mobility and pain components of HRQL and between AAHPERD agility scores and the physical mobility component of HRQL. Visual simple-reaction time and the backward digit-span memory test were found to be related to physical mobility. The subject-performed-tasks memory test was related to the social component of HRQL. These data support the use of the AAHPERD test for characterizing physical ability of older adults as it relates to HRQL and identify specific cognitive support measures that reflect the relationship between cognition and HRQL in older adults.
Peter von Allmen, Michael Leeds and Julian Malakorn
We add to the literature on migration and earnings by showing how migration affects one particularly highly skilled set of migrants: European hockey players. We examine salary differentials using a sample of newly signed free agents from the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons. We also apply several new productivity measures that sharpen the specification of the wage equation, especially regarding productivity on defense and special teams play. We find that European players receive a premium relative to otherwise identical Canadian and US-born players. We present evidence that this premium is due to the greater mobility of European players and their resulting access to alternative employment possibilities.
David Whitson and Donald Macintosh
This paper examines the role that the pursuit of hallmark events and of major league sports franchises has played in the growth strategies of western Canadian cities. Literature on civic boosterism illustrates the vigorous competition that developed among regional elites to establish their own cities as perceived growth centers. These competitions are sharpened today by the contemporary mobility of capital, by media/information networks that focus unprecedented attention on “world-class” events, and by the growth of event-related tourism. The predictions of the benefits from investment in sports and tourism are typically optimistic, and gloss over significant differences of interest between local elites and others who are less likely to benefit.
Srikant Vallabhajosula, Beverly L. Roberts and Chris J. Hass
Tai Chi intervention has been shown to be beneficial for balance improvement. The current study examined the effectiveness of Tai Chi to improve the dynamic postural control among older adults with mobility disability. Six sedentary older adults with mobility disability participated in a 16-week Tai Chi intervention consisting of one hour sessions three times a week. Dynamic postural control was assessed pre- and post intervention as participants initiated gait in four stepping conditions: forward; 45° medially, with the stepping leg crossing over the other leg; 45° and 90° laterally. The center of pressure (CoP) displacement, velocity, and its maximum separation distance from the center of mass in the anteroposterior, mediolateral, and resultant directions were analyzed. Results showed that in the postural phase, Tai Chi increased the CoP mediolateral excursions in the medial (13%) and forward (28%) conditions, and resultant CoP center of mass distance in the medial (9%) and forward (19%) conditions. In the locomotion phase, the CoP mediolateral displacement and velocity significantly increased after the Tai Chi intervention (both by > 100% in the two lateral conditions). These results suggest that through alteration in CoP movement characteristics, Tai Chi intervention might improve the dynamic postural control during gait initiation among older adults.
Timothy S. Church, Thomas M. Gill, Anne B. Newman, Steven N. Blair, Conrad P. Earnest and Marco Pahor
The authors sought to evaluate the acceptability and feasibility of maximal fitness testing in sedentary older individuals at risk for mobility disability.
Maximal cycle-ergometer testing was performed at baseline and 6 and 12 months later in a subset of LIFE-P study participants at the Cooper Institute site. The mean age of the 20 participants (80% female) tested was 74.7 ± 3.4 years. The following criteria were used to determine whether participants achieved maximal effort: respiratory-exchange ratio (RER) ≥1.1, heart rate within 10 beats/min of the maximal level predicted by age, and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) >17.
Participants’ mean peak VO2 was 12.1 (3.7) mL · kg–1 · min–1. At baseline testing, only 20% of participants attained an RER ≥1.10, only 35% achieved a peak heart rate within 10 beats of their age-predicted maximum, and 18% had an RPE of >17. Subsequent testing at 6 and 12 months produced similar results.
In this pilot study of sedentary older persons at risk for mobility disability, very few participants were able to achieve maximal effort during graded cycle-ergometer testing.
Taís L. Almeida, Neil B. Alexander, Linda V. Nyquist, Marcos L. Montagnini, Angela C.S. Santos, Giselle H.P. Rodrigues, Carlos E. Negrão, Ivani C. Trombetta and Mauricio Wajngarten
Few studies have evaluated the benefit of providing exercise to underprivileged older adults at risk for falls. Economically and educationally disadvantaged older adults with previous falls (mean age 79.06, SD = 4.55) were randomized to 4 mo of multimodal exercise provided as fully supervised center-based (FS, n = 45), minimally supervised home-based (MS, n = 42), or to nonexercise controls (C, n = 32). Comparing groups on the mean change in fall-relevant mobility task performance between baseline and 4 mo and compared with the change in C, both FS and MS had significantly greater reduction in timed up-and-go, F(2,73) = 5.82, p = .004, η2 p = .14, and increase in tandem-walk speed, F(2,73) = 7.71, p < .001 η2 p = .17. Change in performance did not statistically differ between FS and MS. In community-dwelling economically and educationally disadvantaged older adults with a history of falls, minimally supervised home-based and fully supervised center-based exercise programs may be equally effective in improving fall-relevant functional mobility.
Laura S. Ho, Harriet G. Williams and Emily A.W. Hardwick
The study’s objective was to examine the health status, physical activity behaviors, and performance-based functional abilities of individuals classified as being at high or low risk for frailty and to determine which of these characteristics discriminates between the 2 groups. Participants were 78 community-dwelling individuals with an average age of 74 years; 37 were categorized as being at high risk and 42 at low risk for frailty. Logistic-regression analysis indicated that individuals classified as being at high risk for frailty were more likely to have visited the doctor more than 3 times in the past year, experienced a cardiac event, taken more than 4 medications a day, and participated in little or no physical activity. High-risk individuals were more likely to have poor balance, difficulty with mobility, decreased range of motion, poor unimanual dexterity, and difficulty performing activities of daily living than were those classified as being at low risk for frailty.