Aging generally results in muscle and bone atrophy, with accelerated loss in the first few years after menopause contributing to decline in strength, balance, and mobility. This investigation compared the effects of 1 of year periodized high-intensity strength training on a group of less-than-5-years (LF) postmenopausal women (n = 10, mean age 51 years) with its effects on a more-than-10-years (MT) postmenopausal group (n = 11, mean age 60 years). Mean lean body mass, strength, and balance increased over the intervention period for both groups, with no significant intergroup differences. Mean total fat mass significantly decreased for both groups, with no significant difference between groups. Total and regional bone density and mineral content did not significantly change in either group. These results indicate that even during the accelerated muscle-loss period after menopause, women can gain muscle and strength with resistance training to a similar extent as older women.
Eric Joseph Rosario, Rudolph Gino Villani, Jeff Harris and Rudi Klein
Ching-Yi Wang, Ching-Fan Sheu and Elizabeth Protas
The purpose of this study was to test the construct validity of the hierarchical levels of self-reported physical disability using health-related variables and physical-performance tests as criteria. The study participants were a community-based sample of 368 adults age 60 years or older. These older adults were grouped into 4 levels according to their physical-disability status (able, mildly disabled, moderately disabled, and severely disabled groups) based on their self-reported measures on the mobility, instrumented activity of daily living (IADL), and activities of daily living (ADL) domains. Health-related variables (body-mass index, number of comorbidities, depression status, mental status, and self-perceived health status) and eight performance-based tests demonstrated significant group differences. Self-reported measures of physical disability can be used to categorize older adults into different stages of physical functional decline.
Constantinos A. Loucaides and Russell Jago
The purpose of this study was to examine the association between pedometer-assessed physical activity and a number of individual, social, and environmental correlates among Cypriot elementary school children.
School children in grades 5 and 6 (N = 104) and their parents (N = 70) wore pedometers for five consecutive weekdays and completed questionnaires assessing potential correlates of steps/d.
A hierarchical regression analysis indicated that gender, weekly frequency of sports club attendance, and hours playing outside accounted for 32% of the variance in steps/d. In addition, children with a body-mass index (BMI) above the 85th percentile (based on age and gender) scored significantly lower steps/d than children with a BMI below the 85th percentile.
This study suggested that correlates of steps/d in children are similar to the findings of other studies using different measures of physical activity behavior.
Anni Rava, Anu Pihlak, Jaan Ereline, Helena Gapeyeva, Tatjana Kums, Priit Purge, Jaak Jürimäe and Mati Pääsuke
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the differences in body composition, neuromuscular performance, and mobility in healthy, regularly exercising and inactive older women, and examine the relationship between skeletal muscle indices and mobility. Overall, 32 healthy older women participated. They were divided into groups according to their physical activity history as regularly exercising (n = 22) and inactive (n = 10) women. Body composition, hand grip strength, leg extensor muscle strength, rapid force development, power output, and mobility indices were assessed. Regularly exercising women had lower fat mass and higher values for leg extensor muscle strength and muscle quality, and also for mobility. Leg extensor muscle strength and power output during vertical jumping and appendicular lean mass per unit of body mass were associated with mobility in healthy older women. It was concluded that long-term regular exercising may have beneficial effects on body composition and physical function in older women.
Richard R. Rosenkranz and David A. Dzewaltowski
Previous studies have demonstrated that parents may influence the physical activity (PA) levels of children. The present study sought to determine whether PA-related parenting behaviors were associated with the physical activity and relative weight of children, controlling for other covariates. A community sample of mothers (n = 193) of after-school-program attendees completed questionnaires assessing parental social support for PA, sedentary behavior, and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Children (N = 193, 51% girls) were objectively assessed for height and weight via stadiometer and digital scale, and the data were converted to body mass index (BMI) percentile via Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2010a) growth charts. Linear regression analysis revealed that maternal encouragement for child PA was positively related to both child PA and BMI percentile. However, mother-child shared physical activity was negatively related to child BMI percentile. Therefore, varying types of PA-related parenting behaviors may have differential relationships with child PA and relative weight.
Susan A. Carlson, Judy Kruger, Harold W. Kohl III and David M. Buchner
Falls are a major health problem for older adults. The purpose of this study is to examine the cross-sectional association between non-occupational physical activity and falls and fall-related injuries in US adults age 65 y or older.
Respondents age 65 y or older were selected from the 2003 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (n = 47,619).
The age-adjusted incidence of falls was significantly higher among inactive respondents (16.3%, 95% CI: 15.2–17.6) than insufficiently active (12.3%, 95% CI: 11.4–13.2) or active (12.6%, 95% CI: 11.6–13.7) respondents. After controlling for sex, age, education, and body-mass index, active and insufficiently active respondents were significantly less likely to have fallen and were significantly less likely to have had a fall-related injury than their inactive peers.
These results show that active and insufficiently active older adults experience a lower incidence of falls than their inactive peers.
Ian Janssen, Peter T. Katzmarzyk, William F. Boyce and William Pickett
The purpose of this study was to examine the independent influence of physical inactivity and obesity on health complaints in school-aged youth.
The findings are based on Canadian records from the 2001-2002 Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children Survey. The study cohort consisted of 5673 youth in grades 6 to 10. Body weight and height (used to calculate body mass index and adiposity level), physical activity, and somatic (physical) and psychological health complaints were measured by questionnaire. General linear models were used to characterize the associations between physical activity and adiposity with somatic and psychological health complaints.
In boys and girls, adiposity level alone was independently associated with somatic health complaints, whereas both physical activity level and adiposity level were independently associated with psychological health complaints.
The findings suggest that the prevention and treatment of both physical inactivity and obesity are important in school-aged youth.
Kristin Musselman and Brenda Brouwer
This study examined gender differences in balance, gait, and muscle performance in seniors and identified gender-specific factors contributing to physical performance. Forty (20 men, 20 women) healthy, community-dwelling seniors (74.5 ± 5.3 years) participated. Limits of stability, gait speed, lower limb flexor and extensor isokinetic concentric peak torques, self-reported activity level, and balance confidence were measured. No gender differences were detected in gait speed, limits of stability when normalized to height, activity level, or balance confidence (p ≥ .188). Women were weaker than men (p ≤ .007), even after controlling for weight and body-mass index, suggesting that other gender-related factors contribute to strength. Gender accounted for 18–46% of the variance in strength and served as a modifier of the relationship between activity level and strength in some muscle groups. The primary factors relating to gender-specific strength was activity level in men and body weight in women.
Anna Mulasso, Mattia Roppolo, Monica Emma Liubicich, Michele Settanni and Emanuela Rabaglietti
The aim of this study was to assess the direct and indirect effects of a multicomponent exercise (MCE) program on mobility and balance in institutionalized older people. One hundred and twelve subjects (85 women; 83.0 years on average; SD = 7.5) were included in the study, and divided into a MCE-group (MCE-G) and a control group (CG) according to matching techniques. The MCE-G consisted of a 9-month program featuring range-of-motion, strength, and balance exercises performed in small groups. The CG received routine medical and nursing care. The timed up-and-go test and Tinetti Performance-Oriented Mobility Assessment balance subscale were administered at baseline and postintervention. After controlling for physical baseline value, age, sex, residential care facilities, and body mass index, the MCE-G showed positive effects both on mobility (p < .001) and balance (p = .001). The role of balance as mediator in the relationship between participation to the MCE program and mobility was demonstrated.
Maarten Stiggelbout, Marijke Hopman-Rock and Willem van Mechelen
This study reports entry correlates and motivations of older adults participating in organized exercise programs in the Netherlands, as determined in a descriptive explorative study (N = 2,350, response rate 86%). Participants were community-dwelling older adults (50+ years) who enrolled and started in 10 different exercise programs. Entry features were analyzed for differences in age, sex, marital status, education, living situation, body-mass index, lifestyle, and health status. Motivations for entering an exercise program were determined using homogeneity analyses. More Exercise for Seniors (MBvO) attracted relatively older seniors, whereas organized sports mainly attracted younger ones. Walking, MBvO, and gymnastics attracted more women, whereas skating and table tennis were reported to attract more male participants. Badminton and cycling attracted relatively higher educated participants, whereas MBvO attracted relatively lower educated participants. Three distinct motivational constructs were found: relax and enjoy, care and cure, and competition. Public health and recruitment implications of these findings are discussed.