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Kelly S. Chu, Edward C. Rhodes, Jack E. Taunton and Alan D. Martin

The purpose of this study was to assess the difference in maximal physiological responses between an acute bout of deep-water running (DWR) and treadmill running (TMR) in young and older adults. Participants were 9 young and 9 older women who performed maximal DWR and TMR tests. Maximal measures included oxygen consumption (VO2max), heart rate (HRmax), ventilation (VE), respiratory-exchange ratio (RER), and blood lactate (BLac). The young women exhibited higher VO2max, HRmax, VE, and BLac than did the older women for both exercise conditions (p < .05). Lower VO2max and HRmax values were observed with DWR for both age groups (p < .05). No significant differences were found for VE, RER, and BLac in either group between exercise conditions, nor a significant interaction between exercise conditions or ages for any of the variables measured. The data suggest that although older adults exhibit lower maximal metabolic responses, differences between DWR and TMR responses occur irrespective of age.

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Brandon L. Alderman, Ryan L. Olson and Diana M. Mattina

Background:

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of walking at self-selected speed on an active workstation on cognitive performance.

Methods:

Sixty-six participants (n = 27 males, 39 females; mean age = 21.06 ± 1.6 years) completed a treadmill-desk walking and a seated control condition, separated by 48 hours. During each condition, participants completed computerized versions of the Stroop test, a modified flanker task, and a test of reading comprehension.

Results:

No significant differences in response speed or accuracy were found between walking and sitting conditions for any the cognitive tests.

Conclusions:

These findings reveal that performance on cognitive tasks, including executive control processes, are not impaired by walking on an active workstation. Implementing active workstations into offices and classrooms may help to decrease sedentariness without impairing task performance.

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John M. Schuna Jr., Tiago V. Barreira, Daniel S. Hsia, William D. Johnson and Catrine Tudor-Locke

Background:

Energy expenditure (EE) estimates for a broad age range of youth performing a variety of activities are needed.

Methods:

106 participants (6–18 years) completed 6 free-living activities (seated rest, movie watching, coloring, stair climbing, basketball dribbling, jumping jacks) and up to 9 treadmill walking bouts (13.4 to 120.7 m/min; 13.4 m/min increments). Breath-by-breath oxygen uptake (VO2) was measured using the COSMED K4b2 and EE was quantified as youth metabolic equivalents (METy1:VO2/measured resting VO2, METy2:VO2/estimated resting VO2). Age trends were evaluated with ANOVA.

Results:

Seated movie watching produced the lowest mean METy1 (6- to 9-year-olds: 0.94 ± 0.13) and METy2 values (13- to 15-year-olds: 1.10 ± 0.19), and jumping jacks produced the highest mean METy1 (13- to 15-year-olds: 6.89 ± 1.47) and METy2 values (16- to 18-year-olds: 8.61 ± 2.03). Significant age-related variability in METy1 and METy2 were noted for 8 and 2 of the 15 evaluated activities, respectively.

Conclusions:

Descriptive EE data presented herein will augment the Youth Compendium of Physical Activities.

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Mandy L. Gault, Richard E. Clements and Mark E.T. Willems

Cardiovascular responses of older adults to downhill (DTW, –10% incline) and level treadmill walking (0%) at self-selected walking speed (SSWS) were examined. Fifteen participants (age 68 ± 4 yr, height 1.69 ± 0.08 m, body mass 74.7 ± 8.1 kg) completed two 15-min walks at their SSWS (4.6 ± 0.6 km/hr). Cardiovascular responses were estimated using an arterial-volume finger clamp and infrared plethysmography. Oxygen consumption was 25% lower during DTW and associated with lower values for stroke volume (9.9 ml/beat), cardiac output (1.0 L/min), arteriovenous oxygen difference (a-v O2 diff, 2.4 ml/L), and systolic blood pressure (10 mmHg), with no differences in heart rate or diastolic and mean arterial blood pressure. Total peripheral resistance (TPR) was higher (2.11 mmHg) during DTW. During downhill walking, an exercise performed with reduced cardiac strain, endothelial changes, and reduced metabolic demand may be responsible for the different responses in TPR and a-v O2 diff. Future work is warranted on whether downhill walking is suitable for higher risk populations.

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Rishann Nielson, Pat R. Vehrs, Gilbert W. Fellingham, Ronald Hager and Keven A. Prusak

Background:

The purposes of this study were to determine the accuracy and reliability of step counts and energy expenditure as estimated by a pedometer during treadmill walking and to clarify the relationship between step counts and current physical activity recommendations.

Methods:

One hundred males (n = 50) and females (n = 50) walked at stride frequencies (SF) of 80, 90, 100, 110, and 120 steps/min, during which time step counts and energy expenditure were estimated with a Walk4Life Elite pedometer.

Results:

The pedometer accurately measured step counts at SFs of 100, 110, and 120 steps/min, but not 80 and 90 steps/min. Compared with energy expenditure as measured by a metabolic cart, the pedometer significantly underestimated energy expenditure at 80 steps/min and significantly overestimated measured energy expenditure at 90, 100, 110, and 120 steps/ min.

Conclusions:

The pedometers’ inability to accurately estimate energy expenditure cannot be attributed to stride length entered into the pedometer or its ability to measure step counts. Males met 3 criteria and females met 2 criteria for moderate-intensity physical activity at SF of 110 to 120 steps/min. These results provide the basis for defining moderate-intensity physical activity based on energy expenditure and step counts and may lead to an appropriate steps/day recommendation.

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Dinesh John, Dixie L. Thompson, Hollie Raynor, Kenneth Bielak, Bob Rider and David R. Bassett

Purpose:

To determine if a treadmill-workstation (TMWS) increases physical activity (PA) and influences anthropometric, body composition, cardiovascular, and metabolic variables in overweight and obese office-workers.

Methods:

Twelve (mean age= 46.2 ± 9.2 years) overweight/obese sedentary office-workers (mean BMI= 33.9 ± 5.0 kg·m-2) volunteered to participate in this 9-month study. After baseline measurements of postural allocation, steps per day, anthropometric variables, body composition, cardiovascular, and metabolic variables, TMWS were installed in the participants’ offices for their use. Baseline measurements were repeated after 3 and 9 months. Comparisons of the outcome variables were made using repeated-measures ANOVAs or nonparametric Friedman’s Rank Tests.

Results:

Between baseline and 9 months, significant increases were seen in the median standing (146−203 min·day-1) and stepping time (52−90 min·day-1) and total steps/day (4351−7080 steps/day; P < .05). Correspondingly, the median time spent sitting/lying decreased (1238−1150 min·day-1; P < .05). Using the TMWS significantly reduced waist (by 5.5 cm) and hip circumference (by 4.8 cm), low-density lipoproteins (LDL) (by 16 mg·dL-1), and total cholesterol (by 15 mg·dL-1) during the study (P < .05).

Conclusion:

The additional PA energy expenditure from using the TMWS favorably influenced waist and hip circumferences and lipid and metabolic profiles in overweight and obese office-workers.

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Danielle R. Bouchard, Shaelyn Strachan, Leslie Johnson, Fiona Moola, Radhika Chitkara, Diana McMillan, Semone Myrie and Gordon Giesbrecht

Objective:

Our objective was to test the feasibility of sharing treadmill workstations among office workers to reduce time spent at low intensity and explore changes in health outcomes after a 3-month intervention.

Methods:

Twenty-two office workers were asked to walk 2 hours per shift on a shared treadmill workstation for 3 months. Physical activity levels (ie, low, light, moderate, and vigorous), health-related measures (eg, sleep, blood pressure), treadmill usage information, and questions regarding participants’ expectation and experiences were collected.

Results:

Physical activity time at low intensity during workdays was reduced by 20.1% (P = .007) in the 71% of participants completing the study. Participants were 70% confident that they would keep using the treadmill workstations. Interestingly, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, and sleep quality scores were significantly improved (P < .05).

Conclusions:

The use of such equipment to replace a few hours of sitting is feasible and might offer important health benefits.

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Phillip D. Tomporowski and Michel Audiffren

Thirty-one young (mean age = 20.8 years) and 30 older (mean age = 71.5 years) men and women categorized as physically active (n = 30) or inactive (n = 31) performed an executive processing task while standing, treadmill walking at a preferred pace, and treadmill walking at a faster pace. Dual-task interference was predicted to negatively impact older adults’ cognitive flexibility as measured by an auditory switch task more than younger adults; further, participants’ level of physical activity was predicted to mitigate the relation. For older adults, treadmill walking was accompanied by significantly more rapid response times and reductions in local- and mixed-switch costs. A speed-accuracy tradeoff was observed in which response errors increased linearly as walking speed increased, suggesting that locomotion under dual-task conditions degrades the quality of older adults’ cognitive flexibility. Participants’ level of physical activity did not influence cognitive test performance.

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Fleur E. Horner, Joanna Slade and James L. J. Bilzon

Background:

Accelerometers are commonly used to quantify physical activity. There is no accordance regarding the most suitable attachment site. This study assessed the reliability and validity of accelerometer output (PAC) from 2 placements.

Methods:

26 females (age 20.4 ± 1.3 years, body mass 62.7 ± 6.8 kg) twice performed a 16-minute treadmill protocol comprising 4 stages (4, 5, 8, 10 km·hr−1) and oxygen uptake (VO2) was calculated. Participants wore an accelerometer at the hip and lower back. Skinfold thickness was measured at 8 sites. Reliability was assessed using coefficients of variation (CVintra). Interactions between placement, velocity and PAC (counts·5s−1) were assessed using analysis of covariance. PAC-VO2 associations were assessed using multiple regression.

Results:

Hip and back placements returned similar reliability (CVintra = 3.0% and 2.8% respectively). Hip PAC were higher (P < .01) during walking with no differences observed during running. Indices of adiposity were related to hip PAC. Regression revealed hip and back PAC as significant predictors of VO2. Back PAC was the least variable. Hip skinfold thickness explained 15% additional variance in VO2 to PAC with reduced standard error.

Conclusion:

The lower back is a more suitable accelerometer placement for young, active females during treadmill exercise.

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Tatsuhisa Takahashi, Akiyoshi Okada, Jun-ichiro Hayano and Nobuo Takeshima

To determine water immersion’s effect on heart rate (HR) and vagal tone, the authors examined HR and high-frequency R-R-interval variability in 7 healthy older adults at rest and during treadmill walking, starting at 3.0 km/hr and increasing 0.5 km/hr every 3 min at a 5% grade to exhaustion. Participants performed the test on land and then immersed in water to the xiphoid. HR at rest did not differ between water and land. During walking at 3.0 km/min, HR was significantly lower in water than on land, whereas at 4.5 and 5.0 km/min it was significantly higher (each p < .05). Peak HR at exhaustion was not significantly different between water and land. High-frequency amplitudes at rest and during exercise in water were not significantly different from those on land. The results suggest that resting vagus tone and vagal changes in response to walking exercise in elderly adults are not greatly affected by water immersion.