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Shinichi Demura, Masaki Minami, Yoshinori Nagasawa, Nobuhiko Tada, Jinzaburo Matsuzawa and Susumu Sato

This cross-sectional study determined physical-fitness levels of more than 1,000 Japanese older men and women, including 338 participants who were 75 years of age and older. Each participant performed 11 tests representing 4 domains of functioning (muscular, joint, neural, and respiratory). Two-way ANOVA was used to examine gender and age differences for each variable. Performance on every test decreased with advancing age, but the declines did not occur at a uniform rate. In addition, men and women did not decline at the same rate for each variable. Although leg strength, balance ability, and reaction time did not decline until after the age of 65, they exhibited the steepest decline of all the variables after age 75. These findings suggest that significant declines in physical fitness occur with advancing age, especially those that are related to mobility and risk for falls.

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Tan Zhang and Michael L. Silk

At present, and as China negotiates the instantiation of consumer capitalism, her urban spaces have experienced agonizing growth affecting housing, the internationalization of cities, interactions between government and developers, the development of rural land, migrant flows, and social stratification within the city. Focusing on Beijing, we locate the efforts to host major sporting events—especially the 1990 Asian Games and the 2008 Olympic Games—within the dynamics of the spatial reconfigurations in Beijing, a rapid reordering based on “capital space” (Harvey, 2001), gentrification, and the lifestyle practices of a burgeoning middle and upper class of Beijingers. In so doing, we offer a multidimensional account of the complex manner in which power, mobility, and transformation within a modernizing Beijing intersects with the discursive constitution of bodies, concluding with regard to new forms of social cleavages and inequalities that derive from embracing, however selectively, the logistics of the market in the framework set by the Chinese nation-state.

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Kerrie J. Kauer and Vikki Krane

Edited by Lavon Williams

This investigation, framed in feminist and social identity perspectives, examined female athletes’ interpretations and reactions to the stereotypes ascribed to women in sport. Interviews with 15 female collegiate athletes revealed that the primary stereotypes directed at them were that they were lesbian and masculine. These stereotypes seemed to emanate from the athletes’ lack of conformity to hegemonic femininity (Choi, 1998; Krane, 2001a). Initially, the athletes responded to being typecast with anger and they used social mobility strategies (e.g., distancing from an athletic identity, performing femininity) to avoid negative perceptions. Both heterosexual and lesbian/bisexual athletes coped with being stereotyped and grew more comfortable with their own sexual identities and those of their teammates. This led to the development of inclusive team environments, collective esteem, and empowerment, with athletes speaking out against homonegative comments in other settings.

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Elissa Burton, Gill Lewin and Duncan Boldy

The 3 study objectives were to compare the activity levels of older people who had received a restorative home care service with those of people who had received “usual” home care, explore the predictors of physical activity in these 2 groups, and determine whether either group met the minimum recommended activity levels for their age group. A questionnaire was posted to 1,490 clients who had been referred for a home care service between 2006 and 2009. Older people who had received a restorative care service were more active than those who had received usual care (p = .049), but service group did not predict activity levels when other variables were adjusted for in a multiple regression. Younger individuals who were in better physical condition, with good mobility and no diagnosis of depression, were more likely to be active. Investigation of alternatives to the current exercise component of the restorative program is needed.

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Susan Williams, Claudia Meyer, Frances Batchelor and Keith Hill

The objective of this study was to determine whether improved balance outcomes achieved in a randomized controlled trial (RCT) using balance screening to identify mild balance dysfunction and home exercises could be translated into community settings. Community-dwelling people aged over 65 who expressed concerns about their balance, had less than two falls in the preceding 12 months, and who had mild balance impairment on screening were given an individualized home-based balance and strengthening exercise program with intermittent home-visit support by a physiotherapist. Of 71 participants assessed (mean age 77.3 years, 76% female), 58 (82%) completed the six-month intervention. Twenty six percent of participants regained balance performance within normal limits—similar to those achieved in the previous RCT. Successful results from a previous RCT were able to be translated into community settings, with a similar magnitude of effect on balance and mobility.

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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.

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C. Jessie Jones, Dana N. Rutledge and Jordan Aquino

The purposes of this study were to determine whether people with and without fibromyalgia (FM) age 50 yr and above showed differences in physical performance and perceived functional ability and to determine whether age, gender, depression, and physical activity level altered the impact of FM status on these factors. Dependent variables included perceived function and 6 performance measures (multidimensional balance, aerobic endurance, overall functional mobility, lower body strength, and gait velocity—normal or fast). Independent (predictor) variables were FM status, age, gender, depression, and physical activity level. Results indicated significant differences between adults with and without FM on all physical-performance measures and perceived function. Linear-regression models showed that the contribution of significant predictors was in expected directions. All regression models were significant, accounting for 16–65% of variance in the dependent variables.

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Cecilia Winberg, Gunilla Carlsson, Christina Brogårdh and Jan Lexell

Maintaining regular physical activity (PA) can be challenging for persons with late effects of polio. This qualitative study of ambulatory persons with late effects of polio explored their perceptions of PA, as well as facilitators of and barriers to PA. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 15 persons and analyzed with content analysis using the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) as a framework. The participants described positive perceptions of PA and its health benefits. PA was used to prevent further decline in functioning, and the type and frequency of activities had changed over time. Past experiences and personal characteristics impacted PA. Support from close relatives, knowledgeable health care professionals, mobility devices, and accessible environments facilitated PA, whereas impairments, inaccessible environments, and cold weather were the main barriers. To perform PA regularly, persons with late effects of polio may benefit from individualized advice based on their disability and personal and environmental factors.

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Elizabeth A. Taylor and Robin Hardin

This study examined the experiences and challenges of 10 female Division I athletic directors. Four themes emerged from the interviews: (a) lack of female role models; (b) females are not qualified to manage football programs; (c) scrutiny about (lack of) ability and experience, and (d) benefits of intercollegiate coaching experience. The findings of this study suggest these are the central causes for females’ inability to reach maximum career mobility in the intercollegiate athletics industry. Participants encouraged women trying to enter the intercollegiate athletics industry to find a mentor who can advocate for them as they navigate through their career. In addition, participants encouraged those entering the industry to gain experience in as many facets of the athletic department as possible.

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Brett Krueger, Laura Becker, Greta Leemkuil and Christopher Durall

Clinical Scenario:

Ankle sprains account for roughly 10% of sport-related injuries in the active population. The majority of these injuries occur from excessive ankle inversion, leading to lateral ligamentous injury. In addition to pain and swelling, limitations in ankle range of motion (ROM) and self-reported function are common findings. These limitations are thought to be due in part to loss of mobility in the talocrural joint. Accordingly, some investigators have reported using high-velocity, low-amplitude thrust-manipulation techniques directed at the talocrural joint to address deficits in dorsiflexion (Df) ROM and function. This review was conducted to ascertain the impact of talocrural joint-thrust manipulation (TJM) on DF ROM, selfreported function, and pain in patients with a history of ankle sprain.

Focused Clinical Question:

In patients with a history of inversion ankle sprain, does TJM improve outcomes in DF ROM, self-reported function, and/or pain?