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Del N. Konopka, Robin P. Shook, Marian L. Kohut, Rosalie Vos Tulp and Warren D. Franke

The 6-min walk test (6MWT) is a common component of fitness assessments of older adults; however, differing course configurations might affect 6MWT performance. It is unclear how comparable 2 different configurations are. To determine the comparability of 2 courses, 35 adults ≥65 years of age completed two 6MWT, once walking around a 20- by 5-yd outdoor rectangle and once on an indoor oval track (circumference 144.3 yd). Scores for the 2 tests were internally consistent (intraclass correlation coefficient = .95). The participants walked farther on the oval track than around the rectangle (639 ± 19 vs. 582 ± 16 yd; p < .0001), but responses to the rectangular configuration could be readily estimated using the equation 66.7 yd + 0.807 × (oval walking distance), R 2 = .85. Thus, within-participant responses are similar across both 6MWT, but the course configuration affects the distance walked.

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Timo Suutama and Isto Ruoppila

Two follow-up studies were designed to analyze die cross-seciional and longitudinal associations between cognitive functioning and physical activity among two cohorts of elderly people. At baseline, over 90% of the 75- and 80-year-old populations were interviewed at home and almost 80% participated in the laboratory examinations. Cognitive functioning was assessed by psychometric tests and reaction time tasks, and physical activity was assessed by a subjective self-assessment as well as by objectively measured maximal walking speed. Among both cohorts, the decline over the 5-year period in cognitive functioning as well as in physical activity was generally small but statistically significant. The test-retest correlations were higher for the cognitive functioning scores than for the physical activity variables. The associations between cognitive functioning and physical activity were inconsistent and showed some differences between men and women.

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Joseph F. Signorile, David Sandler, Fangchao Ma, Steve Bamel, Damian Stanziano, Wes Smith, Bernard A. Roos and Lauran Sandals

This study examined the validity, reliability, and discriminatory capacity of the gallon-jug shelf-transfer (GJST) test. Six hundred fifty-three independent-living older adults (463 women age 72.9 ± 7.0 years, 190 men age 74.3 ± 6.7 years) participated. Participants moved five 1-gallon jugs (≈3.9 kg) from a knee-high to a shoulder-high shelf as quickly as possible. The GJST showed an exponential performance decline with age, and there were significant correlations between the GJST and common functional tests (p < .001). High within-day and between-days reliability was detected. The test also detected differences resulting from training status (p < .01) and training protocols (p < .05). The GJST is a valid, reliable, inexpensive, safe, and easily administered clinical test for identifying physically vulnerable elders who could benefit from interventions such as exercise to improve their physical capacities and maintain independence.

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Gershon Tenenbaum and Betsy Becker

The current paper criticizes the concept, research methodology, data analyses, and validity of the conclusions made in Hardy, Woodman, and Carrington’s (2004) article published in this journal. In their repeated-measures analysis of data from the performances of 7 golfers, they did not examine changes in performance scores on successive holes. Instead, Hardy et al. used several ANOVA models to examine how performance varied with respect to somatic and cognitive anxiety level and self-confidence interaction. By doing so, their findings produced effects which we argue to be conceptually and empirically limited. We also address problems associated with dichotomization of continuous variables, measurement errors when splitting data, eradication of random significant effects, cell sizes in segmental quadrant analysis, and correlation between somatic and cognitive anxiety. We believe these difficulties prevent any reliable conclusions and/or generalizations from being made.

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Nobuo Takeshima, William F. Brechue, Setsuko Ueya and Kiyoji Tanaka

This study attempted to determine the accuracy of measuring heart rate by radial artery palpation in elderly individuals. Elderly (ELD; n = 26) and young (Y; n = 21) individuals completed 3 intensity levels of exercise on a treadmill, each carried out on a separate day. Participants determined their heart rate by palpating the radial artery (PR) after exercise. In ELD, there were significant differences between PR and electrocardiogram (ECG; p = .007). Heart-rate errors at each intensity of exercise were 7.2 ± 12.5, 6.6 ± 15.7, and 10.1 ± 16.5 beats/min. There were no differences in PR and ECG in Y. Fingertip sensitivity was significantly lower in ELD than in Y. A significant, negative correlation existed (r = -.56, n = 26) between heart-rate error and fingertip sensitivity in ELD. These data suggest that self-conducted PR by elderly individuals fails to accurately estimate heart rate. This appears to result from lessened vibrotactile sensitivity in the fingers.

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Britton W. Brewer, Allen E. Cornelius, Judy Van Raalte, John C. Brickner, Howard Tennen, Joseph H. Sklar, John R. Corsetti and Mark H. Pohlman

The accuracy of retrospective ratings of pain intensity was examined in a sample of 72 men and 36 women undergoing rehabilitation following anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstructive surgery. Participants completed daily ratings of current, worst, and average pain intensity for the first 42 days of rehabilitation. Participants provided retrospective ratings of worst and average pain intensity twice for a 7-day period (on Days 7 and 21) and once for a 30-day period (on Day 30). Correlations between concurrent and retrospective pain ranged from .74 to .88. Retrospective pain ratings consistently overestimated concurrent pain ratings, but were generally not biased by current pain. The results suggest that retrospective pain ratings can substitute for concurrent pain ratings if the tendency toward overestimation is taken into account.

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Kathryn T. Goode and David L. Roth

Experienced runners completed a Thoughts During Running Scale (TORS) immediately after a typical training run to assess the prevalence of certain thoughts during running. The Profile of Mood States (POMS) was also completed before and after the run. Confirmatory factor analyses revealed that a five-factor model provided better fit than simpler models. Items concerning the demands of the running activity and the monitoring of body responses loaded on one "associative" factor. The four "nonassociative" factors in this model were labeled Daily Events, Interpersonal Relationships, External Surroundings, and Spiritual Reflection. Correlational analyses indicated small but significant relationships between the TDRS dimensions and changes in mood. Increases in vigor were correlated with the tendency to engage in nonassociative thought, and decreases in tension and anxiety were found among those who thought about interpersonal relationships during the run. These results supplement findings on the effects of certain thought patterns during strenuous exercise.

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Anne-Marie Elbe, Svein Barene, Katharina Strahler, Peter Krustrup and Andreas Holtermann

Flow is a rewarding psychological state that motivates individuals to repeat activities. This study explored healthcare workers’ flow experiences during a workplace exercise intervention. Seventy-nine females were assigned to either a 12-week football or Zumba exercise intervention and their flow experiences were assessed at the beginning, midway and at the end of the intervention. The results showed that both intervention groups experienced medium levels of flow and an increase in flow values over time. A significant positive correlation between experiencing flow midway through the intervention and adherence to regular physical activity 18 weeks after the end of the intervention was found. Furthermore, repeated measures throughout the intervention period showed a significantly different development of flow values over time for the adherers and nonadherers. Flow therefore may be of importance for adherence to regular workplace physical activity. Future research needs to investigate the importance of flow in other physical activity settings, especially also for male participants.

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Kimberley S. van Schooten, Sietse M. Rispens, Petra J.M. Elders, Paul Lips, Jaap H. van Dieën and Mirjam Pijnappels

We investigated the reliability of physical activity monitoring based on trunk accelerometry in older adults and assessed the number of measured days required to reliably assess physical activity. Seventy-nine older adults (mean age 79.1 ± 7.9) wore an accelerometer at the lower back during two nonconsecutive weeks. The duration of locomotion, lying, sitting, standing and shuffling, movement intensity, the number of locomotion bouts and transitions to standing, and the median and maximum duration of locomotion were determined per day. Using data of week 2 as reference, intraclass correlations and smallest detectable differences were calculated over an increasing number of consecutive days from week 1. Reliability was good to excellent when whole weeks were assessed. Our results indicate that a minimum of two days of observation are required to obtain an ICC ≥ 0.7 for most activities, except for lying and median duration of locomotion bouts, which required up to five days.

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Robert J. Vallerand and Gaëtan F. Losier

The motives underlying involvement in sport appear to influence how a person will play the game. However, how athletes play the game may also have an impact on their motives for participating in sports. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between self-determined motivation and sportsmanship orientations by using a longitudinal design, as well as recent theoretical approaches to sportsmanship (Vallerand, 1991, 1994) and motivation (Deci & Ryan, 1985, 1991). Male adolescent elite hockey players (N = 77, mean age = 15.8) completed a questionnaire assessing both constructs 2 weeks into the hockey season (T1) and at the end of the regular season (T2), 5 months later. The results from cross-lag correlations suggested that, over time, self-determined motivation and sportsmanship orientations have a positive bidirectional relation, in which self-determined motivation has greater influence on sportsmanship. These results give further impetus to the need to consider motivation in future studies on sportsmanship.