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Francisco Alvarez-Barbosa, Jesús del Pozo-Cruz, Borja del Pozo-Cruz, Antonio García-Hermoso and Rosa María Alfonso-Rosa

The aging process is characterized by reductions in dynamic and postural balance, muscle mass, and mobility ( Janssen, Heymsfield, & Ross, 2002 ). The histological features of aging muscle suggest that denervation contributes to muscle atrophy ( Mosole et al., 2014 ) and muscle weakness ( Joyner

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Hayley E. Christian, Charlotte D. Klinker, Karen Villanueva, Matthew W. Knuiman, Sarah A. Foster, Stephan R. Zubrick, Mark Divitini, Lisa Wood and Billie Giles-Corti

Background:

Relationships between context-specific measures of the physical and social environment and children’s independent mobility to neighborhood destination types were examined.

Methods:

Parents in RESIDE’s fourth survey reported whether their child (8–15 years; n = 181) was allowed to travel without an adult to school, friend’s house, park and local shop. Objective physical environment measures were matched to each of these destinations. Social environment measures included neighborhood perceptions and items specific to local independent mobility.

Results:

Independent mobility to local destinations ranged from 30% to 48%. Independent mobility to a local park was less likely as the distance to the closest park (small and large size) increased and less likely with additional school grounds (P < .05). Independent mobility to school was less likely as the distance to the closest large park increased and if the neighborhood was perceived as unsafe (P < .05). Independent mobility to a park or shops decreased if parenting social norms were unsupportive of children’s local independent movement (P < .05).

Conclusions:

Independent mobility appears dependent upon the specific destination being visited and the impact of neighborhood features varies according to the destination examined. Findings highlight the importance of access to different types and sizes of urban green space for children’s independent mobility to parks.

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Anni Rava, Anu Pihlak, Jaan Ereline, Helena Gapeyeva, Tatjana Kums, Priit Purge, Jaak Jürimäe and Mati Pääsuke

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the differences in body composition, neuromuscular performance, and mobility in healthy, regularly exercising and inactive older women, and examine the relationship between skeletal muscle indices and mobility. Overall, 32 healthy older women participated. They were divided into groups according to their physical activity history as regularly exercising (n = 22) and inactive (n = 10) women. Body composition, hand grip strength, leg extensor muscle strength, rapid force development, power output, and mobility indices were assessed. Regularly exercising women had lower fat mass and higher values for leg extensor muscle strength and muscle quality, and also for mobility. Leg extensor muscle strength and power output during vertical jumping and appendicular lean mass per unit of body mass were associated with mobility in healthy older women. It was concluded that long-term regular exercising may have beneficial effects on body composition and physical function in older women.

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Chantale Ferland, Hélène Moffet and Désirée B. Maltais

Ambulatory children and youth with cerebral palsy have limitations in locomotor capacities and in community mobility. The ability of three locomotor tests to predict community mobility in this population (N = 49, 27 boys, 6–16 years old) was examined. The tests were a level ground walking test, the 6-min-Walk-Test (6MWT), and two tests of advanced locomotor capacities, the 10-meter-Shuttle-Run-Test (10mSRT) and the Timed-Up-and-Down-Stairs-Test (TUDS). Community mobility was measured with the Assessment of Life Habits mobility category. After age and height were controlled, regression analysis identified 10mSRT and TUDS values as significant predictors of community mobility. They explained about 40% of the variance in the Life Habits mobility category scores. The 10mSRT was the strongest predictor (standardized Beta coefficient = 0.48, p = 0.002). The 6MWT was not a significant predictor. Thus, advanced locomotor capacity tests may be better predictors of community mobility in this population than level ground walking tests.

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Daniel Leightley, Moi Hoon Yap, Jessica Coulson, Mathew Piasecki, James Cameron, Yoann Barnouin, Jon Tobias and Jamie S. McPhee

gait cycle and transitions from sit to stand, which increases the risk of falls ( Rubenstein, 2006 ). The reduced postural control and mobility may occur in part due to the increased tendency for older people to be sedentary ( McPhee et al., 2016 ). Relatively short-term exercise training lasting just

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Ching-Yi Wang, Ming-Hsia Hu, Hui-Ya Chen and Ren-Hau Li

To determine the test–retest reliability and criterion validity of self-reported function in mobility and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) in older adults, a convenience sample of 70 subjects (72.9 ± 6.6 yr, 34 male) was split into able and disabled groups based on baseline assessment and into consistently able, consistently disabled, and inconsistent based on repeat assessments over 2 weeks. The criterion validities of the self-reported measures of mobility domain and IADL-physical subdomain were assessed with concurrent baseline measures of 4 mobility performances, and that of the self-reported measure of IADL-cognitive subdomain, with the Mini-Mental State Examination. Test–retest reliability was moderate for the mobility, IADL-physical, and IADL-cognitive subdomains (κ = .51–.66). Those who reported being able at baseline also performed better on physical- and cognitive-performance tests. Those with variable performance between test occasions tended to report inconsistently on repeat measures in mobility and IADL-cognitive, suggesting fluctuations in physical and cognitive performance.

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William P. Berg and Brian A. Lapp

The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of a practical resistance training program for the lower extremities on mobility in independent, community-dwelling older adults. Twenty-two volunteers with a mean age of 72.9 years underwent two identical pretests 1 month apart. Lower extremity strength, locomotor stability, preferred gait velocity, and step lime in obstacle clearance were assessed. Participants then engaged in an 8-week resistance training program for the lower extremities using adjustable ankle weights. Following a posttest, a repeated-measures ANOVA was used to determine whether changes in strength and mobility when the treatment was interjected differed from when it was not. Results indicated that the training had a limited effect on strength and no effect on mobility. The feasibility of practical resistance training interventions to counteract muscle weakness and associated immobility in independent older adults is discussed.

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Yen-Jong Chen, Rodney H. Matsuoka and Kun-Cheng Tsai

Mobility barriers can impede physical activity, increase the fear of falling, and pose a threat to the ability of older adults to live independently. This study investigated outdoor mobility barriers within a nonretirement public housing community located in Tainan, Taiwan. Site observations and interviews with older adult residents determined that parked motor scooters, potted plants, the rubber tiles of play areas, and a set of steps were the most important barriers. In addition, the space syntax parameters of control value and mean depth were effectively able to quantitatively measure improvements in walkability resulting from the hypothesized removal of these four barriers. These measures of improved walkability can be included in a cost-benefit analysis of spatial improvement factors to help policymakers address the mobility and accessibility needs of older adults.

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Patricia E. Longmuir and Roy J. Shephard

The Arm CAFT is a simple submaximal arm ergometer test for subjects with mobility disabilities, designed to match the Canadian Aerobic Fitness Test (CAFT) in both administration and interpretation. It is here evaluated relative to direct arm ergometer measurements of peak oxygen intake in 41 men and women with mobility disabilities, aged 20-60, who were attending an “integrated” sports facility. Peak oxygen intake was predicted using the original CAFT equation, but the oxygen cost of arm ergometer test stages was substituted and predictions were scaled downward by 70/100 to allow for the lower peak aerobic power of the upper limbs. In 16 subjects who maintained cranking cadence, predictions were reliable over 1 week, with a small increase of score at the second test. Although the Arm CAFT protocol is reliable and free of bias, it has only a limited validity, and only a minority of the stronger individuals with mobility disabilities can sustain the required cranking rhythm.

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Madeleine E. Hackney, Courtney D. Hall, Katharina V. Echt and Steven L. Wolf

Evidence-based recommendations for interventions to reduce fall risk in older adults with visual impairment are lacking. Adapted tango dance (Tango) and a balance and mobility program (FallProof) have improved mobility, balance, and quality of life (QOL) in individuals with movement impairment. This study compared the efficacy of Tango and FallProof for 32 individuals with visual impairment (age: M = 79.3, SD =11 [51–95 years]). Participants were assigned to Tango or FallProof to complete twenty, 90-min lessons within 12 weeks. Participants underwent assessment of balance, dual-tasking, endurance, gait, and vision-related QOL. The balance reactions of participants in both groups improved (p < .001). Endurance, cognitive dual-tasking, and vision-related QOL may have improved more for Tango than FallProof. Group differences and gains were maintained across time. Both programs could be effective options for motor rehabilitation for older adults with visual impairment because they may improve mobility and QOL while reducing fall risk.