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Susan Aguiñaga, Diane K. Ehlers, Elizabeth A. Salerno, Jason Fanning, Robert W. Motl and Edward McAuley

attentional control condition in which participants were encouraged to watch a DVD focusing on healthy aging (ie, Healthy Aging™ by Dr Andrew Weil). Participants in both conditions received telephone support calls from research staff at the same frequency and duration throughout the intervention (eg, biweekly

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William Mummery, Gregory Kolt, Grant Schofield and Grant McLean

Background:

Physical activity is a key component of healthy aging. We investigated the relationships between physical activity measures and lifestyle risk factors.

Methods:

Representative population data (N = 1894) of New Zealand adults aged 60 years and older were analysed to study the association between physical activity, smoking, overweight and fruit and vegetable consumption.

Results:

Activity prevalence of four activity measures were 18.3% inactive/sedentary; 67.6% some recreational walking; 30.7% some vigorous activity; and 51.4% regular physical activity. Females were more likely than males to be inactive and activity levels decreased across age groups. Activity displayed a negative association to smoking and being overweight or obese, and a positive association with fruit and vegetable consumption.

Conclusion:

Associations between lifestyle risk factors and physical activity indicate a need to address the issue of healthy aging by means of a multi-factorial approach.

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Karen M. Sirna

The recent growth in the aging population taking up road cycling and participating in Gran Fondo events has gained attention in popular media. However as of yet, little research exists regarding why, at this time, road cycling is drawing this demographic. This paper explores experiences and perspectives of aging cycling enthusiasts, coaches, and bike store employees as well as content analysis and participant observation to better understand the choice of road cycling and its meaning in their lives. Emergent themes of healthy aging, socializing and networking, and bikes, accessories and gear are presented and discussed using Pierre Bourdieu’s (1984, 2000) habitus, field, and capital to understand them as cultural expressions.

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Karin M. Volkers, Tim C.W. van Dijk, Laura H. Eggermont, A. Peter Hollander and Erik J.A. Scherder

Introduction:

The American College of Sports Medicine prescribes regular performance of at least moderate-intensity physical activity for healthy aging. This study examined whether 1 session of 30 min of chair-assisted exercises for the elderly meets this intensity criterion.

Method:

This cross-sectional study included 47 cognitively healthy volunteers (mean age 84 years). During the performance of 30 min of chair-assisted exercises the authors determined oxygen uptake (VO2), carbon dioxide production, heart rate (HR), and rating of perceived exertion (RPE). These measures were expressed as a percentage of the estimated maximal VO2 (VO2max) and the estimated maximal HR (HRmax) and estimated as metabolic equivalent units (METs).

Results:

Participants performed chair-assisted exercises at 61.0% ± 14.7% of VO2max, 67.6% ± 11.3% HRmax, 3.9 ± 0.9 METs, and 13.1 ± 2.1 RPE.

Conclusions:

The intensity of these chair-assisted exercises is at least moderate for older adults, which is necessary for healthy aging.

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Wojtek J. Chodzko-Zajko

For more than half a century fellows of the National Academy of Kinesiology have enthusiastically advocated for the promotion and adoption of physically active lifestyles as an affordable and effective means to prevent chronic diseases and conditions, and enhance independence and high quality of life for older adults. It is possible to discern distinct evolutionary stages when examining scholarship related to the role of physical activity in the promotion of healthy aging. Research into physical activity and aging began with critical early studies that established the underlying scientific evidence for a relationship between physical activity and healthy aging. More recent work has addressed such topics as building consumer demand, developing policies and legislation to support active aging, and understanding the complex interrelationships between physical activity and other lifestyle factors in the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases and conditions. It is increasingly apparent that strategies to promote active and successful aging must be integrated into an effective public policy. Kinesiologists and other health professionals, working in collaboration with colleagues from other disciplines, can help to reduce risk factors for chronic disease and improve quality of life for older adults by building awareness of the importance of physical activity and by assisting with the development and implementation of appropriate and effective interventions that reduce risk factors and improve quality of life.

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Andrew A. Pellett, Leann Myers, Michael Welsch, S. Michal Jazwinski and David A. Welsh

Diastolic dysfunction, often seen with increasing age, is associated with reduced exercise capacity and increased mortality. Mortality rates in older individuals are linked to the development of disability, which may be preceded by functional limitations. The goal of this study was to identify which echocardiographic measures of diastolic function correlate with physical function in older subjects. A total of 36 men and women from the Louisiana Healthy Aging Study, age 62–101 yr, received a complete echocardiographic exam and performed the 10-item continuous-scale physical-functional performance test (CS-PFP-10). After adjustment for age and gender, left atrial volume index (ρ = –0.59; p = .0005) correlated with the total CS-PFP-10 score. Increased left atrial volume index may be a marker of impaired performance of activities of daily living in older individuals.

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Jennifer L. Copeland

A growing body of literature suggests that excessive sedentary time may have deleterious health consequences, particularly among inactive individuals. Given that older adults are the least physically active and most sedentary of any demographic group, research on active, healthy aging must consider both the cause and the consequences of prolonged time spent sitting. Current evidence suggests that reducing sedentary time may be beneficial to older adults and allow them to better maintain their functional capacity and autonomy, but more research is needed to enable the development of evidence-based behavioral goals that will improve health outcomes. There is also a need to consider sedentary behavior from an organizational and societal perspective that moves beyond workplace and school settings to be inclusive of older adults, the fastest growing population in the world.

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Emma S. George, Louisa Jorm, Gregory S. Kolt, Hilary Bambrick and Sanja Lujic

Physical activity is an important factor in healthy aging and has been shown to reduce depressive symptoms. This association, however, is relatively understudied in older men. This study was a cross-sectional analysis of the association between physical activity (Active Australia Survey) and psychological distress (Kessler-10). Participants were a sample of 17,689 men age ≥65 yr drawn from a large-scale Australian cohort study of people age 45 years and over (The 45 and Up Study). The likelihood of reporting high or very high levels of psychological distress decreased with increasing weekly sessions of physical activity. Compared with participants reporting no sessions of physical activity, the fully adjusted odds ratio for high or very high psychological distress was .66 (95% CI .51–.85) for men who undertook 1–6 sessions of physical activity per week and decreased to .57 (95% CI, .43–.79) for men who reported 16 or more weekly sessions. The cross-sectional findings show that older men who are more active are less likely to report psychological distress, regardless of their level of functional limitation. Further research, informed by these findings, is required to investigate causal pathways and the temporal sequence of events.

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Jordan M. Glenn, Jennifer Vincenzo, Collin K. Canella, Ashley Binns and Michelle Gray

Gait speed predicts survival in older adults; however, gait has not been evaluated in late middle-aged (LMA) populations.

Purpose:

Evaluate single- and dual-task gait speeds among sedentary (SED), recreationally active (RA), and masters athlete (MA) LMA adults.

Methods:

Participants were SED (n = 20, age = 61.0 ± 5.8), RA (n = 57, age = 63.5 ± 8.4), and MA (n = 25, age = 57.5 ± 7.9). Two trials of each task (10 m) were completed: habitual speed (HS), maximal speed (MS), dual-task (counting backward from a number by 3) habitual speed (DT-HS), and dual-task maximal speed (DT-MS).

Results:

MA (2.08 ± 0.63 m/s) had significantly (p < .05) greater MS compared with SED (1.94 ± 0.30 m/s) and RA (1.99 ± 0.53 m/s). Similar differences existed for DT-MS (SED = 1.77 ± 0.32 m/s, RA = 1.80 ± 0.51 m/s, MA = 1.89 ± 0.63 m/s). MA had smaller MS and DT-MS changes (difference between MS and DT-MS speeds) compared with RA (12%) and SED (13%).

Conclusion:

Maintaining a competitively active lifestyle increases MS in LMA adults and may support healthy aging.

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Nikolai Gantchev, François Viallet, Roselyne Aurenty and Jean Massion

The primary purpose of this paper was to compare the effect of reversing the direction of step initiation in Parkinson's disease. Forward (FDS) and backward (BDS) oriented stepping initiation analyses were conducted on combined kinematic and kinetic data recorded on Parkinsonian patients (PD) and healthy age-matched subjects. Two successive phases were examined: a postural phase from T1 (onset of the center of pressure [CP] displacement) to T2 (onset of the malleolus displacement), which was followed by a stepping phase from T2 to T3 (end of the malleolus displacement; i.e., the end of the step). In healthy subjects, the duration of the postural phase remained unchanged regardless of the direction in which the step was initiated. The stepping phase duration and the first step length were reduced in BDS in comparison with FDS. In both tasks, the absolute value of the horizontal force in sagittal plane (Fx) remained unchanged. The maximal velocity of the iliac crest marker (estimated whole body center of gravity [CG]) in the sagittal plane (Vmax CG) remained within the same range regardless of direction of stepping. In Parkinsonian patients, the duration of the postural phase was markedly prolonged in both tasks in comparison with healthy subjects. The mean duration of stepping phase was approximately the same as in normal subjects, but the first step length was considerably reduced, as were horizontal force (Fx) and Vmax CG. This impairment, which was due to a decrease in the propulsive forces, was significantly more pronounced in BDS that in FDS.