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Kathleen Benjamin, Nancy C. Edwards and Virendra K. Bharti

For seniors, an inactive lifestyle can result in declines in mental and physical functioning, loss of independence, and poorer quality of life. This cross-sectional descriptive study examined theory-of-planned-behavior, health-status, and sociodemographic predictors on exercise intention and behavior among 109 older and physically frail adults. Significant predictors of being a high versus a low active were a strong intention to continue exercising, positive indirect attitudes about exercise, and having been advised by a doctor to exercise. Findings indicate that a strong intention to continue exercising differentiates between those who report low levels and those who report high levels of physical activity. The results also highlight the salience of physician’s advice for seniors to exercise.

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Jean Storlie

Athletes, like all people, have special nutritional needs based on their age, lifestyle, health status, level of physical activity, physical conditioning, and type of sport. The diets of many athletes are inadequate due to overly restrictive eating habits, nutrition misinformation, dietary fads, and/or obsession with weight and food. There is a growing need for sports nutrition counseling and education to help athletes improve their eating habits. However, before attempting to develop intervention strategies, sports nutritionists should assess the metabolic changes that take place during exercise and how these changes affect nutrition status. In addition, it is important to consider how psychosocial factors may influence an athlete's eating habits and his/her ability to make positive changes. A two-pronged model is introduced that can be used as a guide for the practitioner in interpreting relevant data and integrating physiological and psychological considerations for the design of individualized nutrition care plans for athletes.

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Jennifer N. Fogarty, Kelly J. Murphy, Bruce McFarlane, Manuel Montero-Odasso, Jennie Wells, Angela K. Troyer, Daniel Trinh, Iris Gutmanis and Kevin T. Hansen

Objective:

It was hypothesized that a combined Taoist Tai Chi (TTC) and a memory intervention program (MIP) would be superior to a MIP alone in improving everyday memory behaviors in individuals with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI). A secondary hypothesis was that TTC would improve cognition, self-reported health status, gait, and balance.

Method:

A total of 48 individuals were randomly assigned to take part in MIP + TTC or MIP alone. The TTC intervention consisted of twenty 90 min sessions. Outcome measures were given at baseline, and after 10 and 22 weeks.

Results:

Both groups significantly increased their memory strategy knowledge and use, ratings of physical health, processing speed, everyday memory, and visual attention. No preferential benefit was found for individuals in the MIP + TTC group on cognition, gait, or balance measures.

Conclusions:

Contrary to expectations, TTC exercise did not specifically improve cognition or physical mobility. Explanations for null findings are explored.

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Barbara G. Wiita and Isabelle A. Stombaugh

The purpose of this study was to examine changes in nutrition knowledge, intakes, attitudes, and behaviors as well as health status of 22 female adolescent runners. Subjects completed questionnaires, interviews, and dietary analyses twice over a 3-year period. Over this time they experienced physical growth and improved athletic performance. Although their mean score on a test of basic and sports nutrition knowledge remained stable at 67%, after 3 years more runners correctly responded to statements about carbohydrate and fat. However, fewer responded correctly to statements regarding fluid intake and skipping meals. Although runners increased the percentage of calories consumed as carbohydrates, they significantly decreased their mean energy intake, thus lowering carbohydrate intake. They significantly lowered protein, calcium, potassium, and sodium intakes. The incidence of possible eating disorders increased, as did stress fractures. Over 3 years, nutrition knowledge did not improve, the quality of dietary intakes decreased, incidence of eating disorders and stress fractures increased, and menstrual irregularities remained high.

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Kathleen Benjamin, Nancy Edwards, Jenny Ploeg and Frances Legault

Despite the benefits of physical activity, residents living in long-term care (LTC) are relatively sedentary. Designing successful physical activity and restorative care programs requires a good understanding of implementation barriers. A database search (2002–2013) yielded seven studies (nine articles) that met our inclusion criteria. We also reviewed 31 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to determine if the authors explicitly discussed the barriers encountered while implementing their interventions. Eleven RCTs (13 articles) included a discussion of the barriers. Hence, a total of 18 studies (22 articles) were included in this review. Barriers occurred at resident (e.g., health status), environmental (e.g., lack of space for physical activity), and organizational (e.g., staffing and funding constraints) levels. These barriers intersect to adversely affect the physical activity of older people living in LTC. Future studies targeting physical activity interventions for residents living in LTC are needed to address these multiple levels of influence.

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Birinder Singh B. Cheema, Marissa Lassere, Ronald Shnier and Maria A. Fiatarone Singh

The purpose of this article is to document a rotator cuff tear sustained by an elderly woman performing progressive resistance training (PRT) in a recent randomized controlled clinical trial. The patient was a sedentary 73-y-old Caucasian woman. Investigation revealed an acute, full-thickness tear of the right supraspinatus secondary to performing a shoulder press exercise. Further investigation via MRI revealed degenerative disease of the acromioclavicular joint including lateral downsloping of the acromion and an anteroinferior acromial spur, which would presdispose to impingement. Conservative management was implemented in this case for over 6 months with minimal success. The patient remained functionally limited in virtually all activities of daily living. Given the medical history, health status, physical condition, and age of our patient, it is probable that degenerative changes predisposed the patient to the injury. To our knowledge this is the first published report of an older adult sustaining a rotator cuff tear during PRT.

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Stanley Sai-chuen Hui

Promoting regular physical activity has been considered one of the most important aspects of preventive medicine in recent years. This is due to the fact that tremendous evidence has been found about the positive association between increasing physical activity and desirable health effects. Findings have been summarized in a number of review documents; however, most of these reviews emphasize findings retrieved from research conducted in Western countries. Few papers were found to summarize findings in physical activity and health of the Hong Kong Chinese population. Epidemiological studies revealed that there exists distinct diverse health status among different ethnic groups due to culture, beliefs, genetic makeup, health practices, and behaviors in these highly diverse groups. This chapter reviews what is known about the association between physical activity and health in the Chinese population of Hong Kong. Current health issues including coronary heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, and so on, that are specific to the Hong Kong situation are reviewed. Moreover, findings in physical activity participation levels of Hong Kong adults and children are introduced. Results indicate that the associations between physical activity and health found in the Chinese population of Hong Kong share similar trends as those reported in Western countries. Three quarters of Hong Kong children and adults are not physically active enough to achieve health benefits. The physical activity level for the Hong Kong Chinese population remains low. The need for promotional and intervention programs on physical activity participation is pressing.

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Marcia G. Ory, Matthew Lee Smith, Luohua Jiang, Doris Howell, Shuai Chen, Jairus C. Pulczinski and Alan B. Stevens

This study examines the effectiveness of Texercise Select, a 12-week lifestyle program to improve physical functioning (as measured by gait speed) and quality of life. Baseline and 12-week follow-up assessments were collected from 220 enrollees who were older (mean = 75 years), predominantly female (85%), White (82%), and experiencing multiple comorbidities (mean = 2.4). Linear mixed-models were fitted for continuous outcome variables and GEE models with logit link function for binary outcome variables. At baseline, over 52% of participants had Timed Up-and-Go (TUG) test times of 12 s or more, which indicates below-normal performance. On average, participants showed significant reductions in TUG test scores at the postintervention (11% reduction, p < .001). Participants also showed significant improvements in general health status (p = .002), unhealthy physical days (p = .032), combined unhealthy physical and mental days (p = .006), and days limited from usual activity (p = .045). Findings suggest that performance indicators can be objectively collected and integrated into evaluation designs of community-based, activity-rich lifestyle programs.

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Alain P. Gauthier, Michel Lariviere, Raymond Pong, Susan Snelling and Nancy Young

Background:

Researchers have recently expressed their concern for the health of Francophones and rural dwellers in Canada. Their levels of physical activity may explain part of the observed differences. However, little is known about the physical activity levels of these 2 groups. The purpose of this study was to assess levels of physical activity among a sample of Francophones and rural dwellers. The study also assessed the associations of various types of physical activity to measures of health status.

Methods:

A quota-based convenience sample of 256 adults from Northern Ontario was surveyed using the IPAQ and the SF-12.

Results:

There were no significant differences in activity levels between language groups (P = .06) or geographical groups (P = .22) on the combined dependent variables based on MANOVA. Leisure-time physical activity scores were consistently associated to better physical component summary scores of the SF-12.

Conclusions:

Implications for practice include that leisure-time physical activities have been at the forefront of public health promotion, and our findings support this approach. Further, population specific interventions are indeed important, however, within this Canadian context when identifying target groups one must look beyond sociocultural status or geographical location.

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Megan E. Holmes, Jim Pivarnik, Karin Pfeiffer, Kimberly S. Maier, Joey C. Eisenmann and Martha Ewing

Background:

The role of psychosocial stress in the development of obesity and metabolic syndrome is receiving increased attention and has led to examination of whether physical activity may moderate the stress-metabolic syndrome relationship. The current study examined relationships among physical activity, stress, and metabolic syndrome in adolescents.

Methods:

Participants (N = 126; 57 girls, 69 boys) were assessed for anthropometry, psychosocial stress, physical activity, and metabolic syndrome variables; t tests were used to examine sex differences, and regression analysis was used to assess relationships among variables controlling for sex and maturity status.

Results:

Mean body mass index approached the 75th percentile for both sexes. Typical sex differences were observed for systolic blood pressure, time spent in moderate and vigorous physical activity, and perceived stress. Although stress was not associated with MetS (β = –.001, P = .82), a modest, positive relationship was observed with BMI (β = .20, P = .04).

Conclusions:

Strong relationships between physical activity and stress with MetS or BMI were not found in this sample. Results may be partially explained by overall good physical health status of the participants. Additional research in groups exhibiting varying degrees of health is needed.