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Christy Haley and Ross Andel

The authors examined factors related to participation in walking, gardening or yard work, and sports or exercise in 686 community-dwelling adults 60–95 years of age from Wave IV of the population-based Americans’ Changing Lives Study. Logistic regression revealed that male gender, being married, and better functional health were associated with greater likelihood of participating in gardening or yard work (p < .05). Male gender, better functional health, and lower body-mass index were independently associated with greater likelihood of walking (p < .05). Increasing age, male gender, higher education, and better functional health were associated with greater likelihood of participating in sports or exercise (p < .05). Subsequent analyses yielded an interaction of functional health by gender in sport or exercise participation (p = .06), suggesting a greater association between functional health and participation in men. Gender and functional health appear to be particularly important for physical activity participation, which may be useful in guiding future research. Attention to different subgroups may be needed to promote participation in specific activities.

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David X. Marquez, Ruby Hoyem, Louis Fogg, Eduardo E. Bustamante, Beth Staffileno and JoEllen Wilbur

Background:

To date, little is known about the physical activity (PA) levels and commonly reported modes of PA of older Latinos, and this information is critical to developing interventions for this population. The purpose of the current study was to examine PA assessed by self-report and accelerometer and to assess the influence of acculturation, gender, and age on the PA of urban community-dwelling older Latino adults.

Methods:

Participants were self-identified Latinos, primarily women (73%), and individuals aged 50 to 59 (31%), 60 to 69 (30%), and 70+ (39%). PA was measured with an accelerometer and the Community Healthy Activity Model Program for Seniors (CHAMPS) PA questionnaire.

Results:

Men reported engaging in, and objectively participated in, significantly more minutes of moderate/vigorous PA than women, but women reported greater light intensity household PA. Latinos aged 50 to 59 engaged in significantly more accelerometer-assessed PA than Latinos aged 60 to 69 and 70+, respectively. The majority of participants did not meet the PA Guidelines for Americans. No differences in PA were demonstrated by acculturation level. Older Latino men and women reported walking and dancing as modes of leisure PA.

Conclusions:

These findings suggest PA interventions should be targeted toward older Latinos, taking into account gender and age.

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Daniel S. Rooks, Bernard J. Ransil and Wilson C. Hayes

The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy and safety of 16 weeks of self-paced resistance training or walking protocols on neuromotor and functional parameters in active, community-dwelling older adults. Twenty-two sequentially recruited older adults were randomly assigned to one of two exercise groups: self-paced resistance training and self-paced walking. Static and dynamic balance, upper and lower extremity reaction times, muscle strength, and stairclimbing speed were measured before and immediately after 16 weeks of exercise. Preliminary data showed that 16 weeks of self-paced. progressive, lower body resistance training improved balance (one-legged stance with eyes open, 68%). reaction time (10%), muscle strength (160%), and stair climbing speed (28%), while a self-paced walking program improved balance (one-legged stance with eyes open, 51%), stair climbing speed (16%), and in certain circumstances muscle strength (25%), in active, community-dwelling older adults.

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Pamela E. Toto, Ketki D. Raina, Margo B. Holm, Elizabeth A. Schlenk, Elaine N. Rubinstein and Joan C. Rogers

This single-group repeated-measures pilot study evaluated the effects of a 10-wk, multicomponent, best-practice exercise program on physical activity, performance of activities of daily living (ADLs), physical performance, and depression in community-dwelling older adults from low-income households (N = 15). Comparison of pretest and posttest scores using a one-tailed paired-samples t test showed improvement (p < .05) for 2 of 3 ADL domains on the Activity Measure–Post Acute Care and for 6 physical-performance measures of the Senior Fitness Test. Repeated-measures ANOVA revealed significant main effects for 3 of 8 physical activity measures using the Yale Physical Activity Scale. Retention rate was 78.9%, and the adherence rate for group sessions was 89.7%. Results suggest that participation in a multicomponent, best-practice physical activity program may positively affect sedentary, community-dwelling older adults’ physical activity, ADL performance, and physical performance.

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Jane Chung, George Demiris and Hilaire J. Thompson

Mobility is critical in maintaining independence in older adults. This study aims to systematically review the scientific literature to identify measures of mobility limitation for community-dwelling older adults. A systematic search of PubMed, CINAHL, and psycINFO, using the search terms “mobility limitation”, “mobility disability”, and “mobility difficulty” yielded 1,847 articles from 1990 to 2012; a final selection of 103 articles was used for the present manuscript. Tools to measure mobility were found to be either self-report or performance-based instruments. Commonly measured constructs of mobility included walking, climbing stairs, and lower extremity function. There was heterogeneity in ways of defining and measuring mobility limitation in older adults living in the community. Given the lack of consistency in assessment tools for mobility, a clear understanding and standardization of instruments are required for comparison across studies and for better understanding indicators and outcomes of mobility limitation in community-dwelling older adults.

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Charlotte H. Worm, Esther Vad, Lis Puggaard, Henrik Støvring, Jens Lauritsen and Jakob Kragstrup

The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of a multicomponent exercise program on basic daily functions and muscle strength in community-dwelling frail older people. The randomized, controlled study comprised 46 community-dwelling frail older people (above 74 years of age and not able to leave their home without mobility aids). For 12 weeks the intervention group (n = 22) was transported to 2 class-based exercise sessions each week. Assessment of physical function was obtained using Berg's Balance Scale and a walking test. Self-reported functional ability was assessed through SF-36. Maximal oxygen uptake and maximal voluntary contraction of the shoulders' abductors were measured. The intervention group had a significant improvement in balance, muscle strength, walking function, and self-assessed functional ability compared with the control group. This study demonstrates that multicomponent exercise has a significant effect on basic daily functions and muscle strength in community-dwelling frail older people and might improve their ability to live an independent life.

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Marcia S. Marx, Jiska Cohen-Mansfield and Jack M. Guralnik

The article describes the process of identifying 100 community-dwelling elderly adults at risk for physical disability, yet not functionally disabled, for participation in a research project to develop appropriate exercise programs for at-risk elderly. Over a period of 14 months, initial contact was made with 941 older adults, 11% of whom (101 people) were eligible for and willing to complete all stages of the study protocol. The most successful recruitment strategies were a mass mailing followed by a telephone call and advertising in a newspaper with a large circulation (rather than a local paper). Aspects of the recruitment and retention of study participants are discussed.

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Ching-Yi Wang, Sharon L. Olson and Elizabeth J. Protas

The purposes of this study were to evaluate community-dwelling elderly adults with different levels of perceived mobility with 5 physical-performance tests, determine the cutoff values of the 5 tests, and identify the best tests for classifying mobility status. The community-mobility statuses of 203 community-dwelling elders were classified as able, decreased, or disabled based on their self-reported ability to walk several blocks and climb stairs. They also performed the functional reach, timed 50-ft walk, timed 5-step, timed floor transfer, and 5-min-walk endurance tests. We found in all tests that the “able” outperformed the “decreased” and that the “decreased” outperformed the “disabled,” except on the floor-transfer task. The optimum cutoff values of the 5 performance tests were also reported. The 5-min walk and timed 5-step test could best separate the “able” from the “decreased,” whereas the 50-ft-walk-test could best differentiate the “decreased” from the “disabled.” The results suggest that community-mobility function of older adults can be captured by performance tests and that the cutoff values of the 5-min-walk, 5-step, and 50-ft-walk tests can be used in guiding intervention or prevention programs.

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Laura S. Ho, Harriet G. Williams and Emily A.W. Hardwick

The study’s objective was to examine the health status, physical activity behaviors, and performance-based functional abilities of individuals classified as being at high or low risk for frailty and to determine which of these characteristics discriminates between the 2 groups. Participants were 78 community-dwelling individuals with an average age of 74 years; 37 were categorized as being at high risk and 42 at low risk for frailty. Logistic-regression analysis indicated that individuals classified as being at high risk for frailty were more likely to have visited the doctor more than 3 times in the past year, experienced a cardiac event, taken more than 4 medications a day, and participated in little or no physical activity. High-risk individuals were more likely to have poor balance, difficulty with mobility, decreased range of motion, poor unimanual dexterity, and difficulty performing activities of daily living than were those classified as being at low risk for frailty.

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Mark W. Swanson, Eric Bodner, Patricia Sawyer and Richard M. Allman

Little is known about the effect of reduced vision on physical activity in older adults. This study evaluates the association of visual acuity level, self-reported vision, and ocular disease conditions with leisure-time physical activity and calculated caloric expenditure. A cross-sectional study of 911 subjects 65 yr and older from the University of Alabama at Birmingham Study of Aging (SOA) cohort was conducted evaluating the association of vision-related variables to weekly kilocalorie expenditure calculated from the 17-item Leisure Time Physical Activity Questionnaire. Ordinal logistic regression was used to evaluate possible associations while controlling for potential confounders. In multivariate analyses, each lower step in visual acuity below 20/50 was significantly associated with reduced odds of having a higher level of physical activity, OR 0.81, 95% CI 0.67, 0.97. Reduced visual acuity appears to be independently associated with lower levels of physical activity among community-dwelling adults.