This study examined participant demographic and physical function characteristics from EnhanceFitness, an evidence-based physical activity program for older adults. The sample consisted of 19,964 older adults. Participant data included self-reported health and demographic variables, and results for three physical function tests: chair stand, arm curls, and timed up-and-go. Linear regression models compared physical function test results among eight program site types. Participants were, on average, 72 years old, predominantly female, and reported having one chronic condition. Residential site participants’ physical function test results were significantly poorer on chair stand and timed up-and-go measures at baseline, and timed up-and-go at a four-month follow-up compared with the reference group (senior centers) after controlling for demographic variables and site clustering. Evidence-based health-promotion programs offered in community settings should assess demographic, health, and physical function characteristics to best serve participants’ specific needs, and offer classes tailored to participant function and ability while maintaining program fidelity.
Marlana J. Kohn, Basia Belza, Miruna Petrescu-Prahova, Christina E. Miyawaki and Katherine H. Hohman
Rachel Proffitt, Belinda Lange, Christina Chen and Carolee Winstein
The purpose of this study was to explore the subjective experience of older adults interacting with both virtual and real environments. Thirty healthy older adults engaged with real and virtual tasks of similar motor demands: reaching to a target in standing and stepping stance. Immersive tendencies and absorption scales were administered before the session. Game engagement and experience questionnaires were completed after each task, followed by a semistructured interview at the end of the testing session. Data were analyzed respectively using paired t tests and grounded theory methodology. Participants preferred the virtual task over the real task. They also reported an increase in presence and absorption with the virtual task, describing an external focus of attention. Findings will be used to inform future development of appropriate game-based balance training applications that could be embedded in the home or community settings as part of evidence-based fall prevention programs.
M. Monda, A. Goldberg, P. Smitham, M. Thornton and I. McCarthy
To study mobility in older populations it can be advantageous to use portable gait analysis systems, such as inertial measurement units (IMUs), which can be used in the community. To define a normal range, 136 active subjects were recruited with an age range of 18 to 97. Four IMUs were attached to the subjects, one on each thigh and shank. Subjects were asked to walk 10 m at their own self-selected speed. The ranges of motion of thigh, shank, and knee in both swing and stance phase were calculated, in addition to stride duration. Thigh, shank, and knee range of movement in swing and stance were significantly different only in the > 80 age group. Regressions of angle against age showed a cubic relationship. Stride duration showed a weak linear relationship with age, increasing by approximately 0.1% per year.
Kieran J. Marston, Belinda M. Brown, Stephanie R. Rainey-Smith, Sabine Bird, Linda K. Wijaya, Shaun Y. M. Teo, Ralph N. Martins and Jeremiah J. Peiffer
The purpose of this investigation was to assess the acute changes in growth factors associated with cognitive health following two ecologically valid, intense resistance exercise sessions. Twenty-nine late-middle-aged adults performed one session of either (a) moderate-load resistance exercise or (b) high-load resistance exercise. Venous blood was collected prior to warm-up, immediately following exercise and 30 min following exercise. Serum was analyzed for brain-derived neurotrophic factor, insulin-like growth factor 1, and vascular endothelial growth factor. Session intensity was determined by blood lactate concentration and session rating of perceived exertion. Postexercise blood lactate was greater following moderate-load when compared with high-load resistance exercise. Subjective session intensity was rated higher by the session rating of perceived exertion following moderate-load when compared with high-load resistance exercise. No differences were observed in serum growth factor levels between groups. Ecologically valid and intense moderate-load or high-load exercise methods do not alter serum growth factor levels in late-middle-aged adults.
Teresa Liu-Ambrose and John R. Best
Cognitive decline is a common feature of aging. Physical activity is a modifiable lifestyle factor that has been identified as positively impacting cognitive health of older adults. Here, we review the current evidence from epidemiological (i.e., longitudinal cohort) and intervention studies on the role of physical activity and exercise in promoting cognitive health in older adults both with and without cognitive impairment. We highlight some of the potential underlying mechanisms and discuss some of the potential modifying factors, including exercise type and target population, by reviewing recent converging behavioral, neuroimaging, and biomarker evidence linking physical activity with cognitive health. We conclude with limitations and future directions for this rapidly expanding line of research.
Chia-Yuan Yu, Su-I Hou and Jonathan Miller
Background: The purposes of this study were to (1) explore the influence of social capital and leisure-time physical activity on older adults’ physical and mental health and (2) test whether these relationships varied by living arrangement. Methods: This cross-sectional study used national data from the 2013 National Health Interview Study. The subjects included 7714 adults aged 65 years or older. Logistic regressions were used to predict the probability of subjects being overweight or obese. Ordinary linear regressions were performed to predict mental health outcomes. Results: Older adults living alone were more likely to report feeling sad (alone: 1.5; with others: 1.36), hopeless (alone: 1.25; with others: 1.18), and worthless (alone: 1.22; with others: 1.15). They were also more likely to experience lower levels of social support (alone: 3.24; with others: 3.30), trust (alone: 3.34; with others: 3.44), cohesion (alone: 2.95; with others: 2.98), and enjoy less leisure-time physical activity (alone: 49.85 min; with others: 64.64 min) than those living with others. Hispanic and divorced/separated older adults who lived alone were prioritized for health intervention. Conclusions: Older adults living alone had poorer mental health, less social capital, and engaged in less frequent leisure-time physical activity. Promoting social capital could improve mental health in older adults living alone.
Kazuhiro Harada, Kouhei Masumoto, Ai Fukuzawa, Michiko Touyama, Koji Sato, Narihiko Kondo and Shuichi Okada
This study examined whether satisfaction with social interactions and the number of people interacted with during walking groups is associated with affective responses among older adults. Twenty-six older adults were asked to participate in five walking group sessions. The participants walked together for 40–50 min. In every session, the participants reported their affective responses to walking (positive engagement, tranquility, and negative affect), their level of satisfaction with the social interactions experienced, and the number of people interacted with during the walk. The available data were from 107 person-sessions. Multilevel models revealed that, although a higher number of people interacted with was not significantly associated with improvements in any affective responses, higher satisfaction with the interactions was significantly associated with improvements in positive engagement at both the within- and between-person levels. This study found that higher satisfaction with the interactions was associated with desirable affective responses among older adults.
Dori E. Rosenberg, Jacqueline Kerr, James F. Sallis, Gregory J. Norman, Karen Calfas and Kevin Patrick
The authors tested the feasibility and acceptability, and explored the outcomes, of 2 walking interventions based on ecological models among older adults living in retirement communities. An enhanced intervention (EI) was compared with a standard walking intervention (SI) among residents in 4 retirement facilities (N = 87 at baseline; mean age = 84.1 yr). All participants received a walking intervention including pedometers, printed materials, and biweekly group sessions. EI participants also received phone counseling and environmental-awareness components. Measures included pedometer step counts, activities of daily living, environment-related variables, physical function, depression, cognitive function, satisfaction, and adherence. Results indicated improvements among the total sample for step counts, neighborhood barriers, cognitive function, and satisfaction with walking opportunities. Satisfaction and adherence were high. Both walking interventions were feasible to implement among facility-dwelling older adults. Future studies can build on this multilevel approach.
Maja Zamoscinska, Irene R. Faber and Dirk Büsch
Clinical Scenario: Reduced bone mineral density (BMD) is a serious condition in older adults. The mild form, osteopenia, is often a precursor of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a pathological condition and a global health problem as it is one of the most common diseases in developed countries. Finding solutions for prevention and therapy should be prioritized. Therefore, the critically appraised topic focuses on strength training as a treatment to counteract a further decline in BMD in older adults. Clinical Question: Is strength training beneficial in increasing BMD in older people with osteopenia or osteoporosis? Summary of Key Findings: Four of the 5 reviewed studies with the highest evidence showed a significant increase in lumbar spine BMD after strength training interventions in comparison with control groups. The fifth study confirmed the maintenance of lumbar spine density due to conducted exercises. Moreover, 3 reviewed studies revealed increasing BMD at the femoral neck after strength training when compared with controls, which appeared significant in 2 of them. Clinical Bottom Line: The findings indicate that strength training has a significant positive influence on BMD in older women (ie, postmenopausal) with osteoporosis or osteopenia. However, it is not recommended to only rely on strength training as the increase of BMD may not appear fast enough to reach the minimal desired values. A combination of strength training and supplements/medication seems most adequate. Generalization of the findings to older men with reduced BMD should be done with caution due to the lack of studies. Strength of Recommendation: There is grade B of recommendation to support the validity of strength training for older women in postmenopausal phase with reduced BMD.
Jordana Salma, Allyson Jones, Savera Aziz Ali, Bukola Salami and Shelby Yamamoto
Asian, Arab, and African Muslim immigrant communities in an urban Canadian center in Alberta. Methods Study Design Data for this article are drawn from a community-based participatory research project completed in 2017–2018 to better understand meaning, experiences, and needs around healthy aging in