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Linda C. Campanelli

Functional mobility is generally considered a major contributor to maintaining quality of life at any age. There are several overviews of physiological aging relative to physical functioning and/or mobility in the recent literature. This paper reiterates the need for continued exercise (at all levels) throughout one’s lifetime, specifically to enhance quality of life and functional independence. Implications for professionals and program development are included. Tailored exercises for both ambulatory and nonambulatory older adults to maintain flexibility, gait, and bed mobility are described.

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Edward Archer, Amanda E. Paluch, Robin P. Shook and Steven N. Blair

Successful aging encompasses more than just the prevention of disease and disability; the truly well-lived life is demonstrated by a sense of vitality and independence, freedom from bodily pain, and the continued involvement in meaningful activities. While physical inactivity and sedentary behaviors accelerate the aging process, deliberate exercise and other forms of activity delay and/or prevent the onset of age-related pathologies such as frailty, osteoporosis, sarcopenia, and cardiovascular disease. This review surveys the evidence that supports the position that physical activity is a necessary component for the development and maintenance of the physiological resources that are foundational to physical and cognitive functioning and ‘living well’ in one's later years.

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Donna L. Goodwin, David A. Fitzpatrick, Robin Thurmeier and Carol Hall

This phenomenological study explored the decision-making experience of parents whose children joined Special Olympics programs. The experiences of 16 families with children 10-22 years old were gathered through interviews, artifacts, and field notes. Three themes emerged from the thematic analysis (a) thoughtful instruction, (b) finding the fit, and (c) security of acceptance. Parents sought instructors who were interested in building relationships with their children and creating anxiety-free instructional environments for them. A good program fit occurred when instructors had expectations for motor skill development and increased independence. Parents also preferred environments that encouraged meaningful peer interactions. The findings were interpreted within the context of self-determination theory.

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Joanna L. Morrissey, Phyllis J. Wenthe, Elena M. Letuchy, Steven M. Levy and Kathleen F. Janz

In a sample of 291 adolescents (mean age 13 yr), seven psychosocial factors, including family support, were examined in relation to accelerometry-derived physical activity (PA) measured after school and during the weekend. Gender-specific stepwise linear regression analyses determined which combinations of factors explained the variance in nonschool moderate to vigorous PA and nonschool total PA after adjusting for % BF, age, and maturity (p ≤ 0.05). Being praised by a family member and % BF explained 13% of the variance in female nonschool MVPA, while being praised and maturity explained 13% of the variance in nonschool total PA. Having a family member watch him participate, % BF, and age explained 11.5% of the variance in male nonschool MVPA, while having a family member participate with him explained 6.4% of the variance in nonschool total PA. Despite adolescents’ growing independence, family support continues to influence PA levels.

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Jacquelyn Cuneen and M. Joy Sidwell

Internships permit sport management students to link classroom learning to the professional environment. Since internships provide students with opportunities to learn on-the-job and test their skills in the marketplace, the experiences should be uniformly beneficial to all students regardless of gender. This study was conducted to describe internship work conditions (i.e., opportunities to perform in essential marketplace functions) for male and female sport management interns assigned to ‘Big Four’ professional sport organizations. Participants were 74 sport industry professionals who supervised a total of 103 interns over a one-year period. A X2 Test of Independence found that male and female interns working in professional sport had comparable opportunities to perform and learn on the job. Differences in opportunity, hiring practices, and on-the-job benefits emerged primarily as a function of job specialization (e.g., operations, marketing, venue management), league/association, or gender of the internship supervisor rather than gender of the interns.

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Ronald D. Adelman, Michele G. Greene, Erika Friedmann, Marcia G. Ory and Caitlin E. Snow

This cross-sectional observational study examined the frequency of older patient–physician discussions about exercise, who initiates discussions, and the quality of questioning, informing, and support about exercise. The study used a convenience sample of 396 follow-up visits at 3 community-based practice sites, with 376 community-dwelling older patients and 43 primary-care physicians. Audiotapes were analyzed using the Multi-Dimensional Interaction Analysis coding system. Results demonstrate that exercise was discussed in 13% of visits and the subject was raised equally by patients and physicians. Exercise was significantly more likely to be discussed in dyadic visits (14.7%) than in triadic visits (4.1%). Patient level of education, patient overall physical health, and the physician’s being female were significant predictors of the occurrence of exercise discussion. Given the importance of exercise for maintaining health and independence in older adults, more clinical and research attention is needed to address barriers to effective discussions in this area.

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N. Genthon and P. Rougier

This study was aimed at assessing the possible relationship between upright and sitting postures in healthy adults. The center of pressure trajectories from the force platform on which the subjects stood or sat were analyzed through a frequency analysis and modeled through the fractional Brownian motion framework. The same type of control process was involved during sitting and upright posture maintenance. Both upright and sitting posture would be controlled by the same mechanical law and/or by the same type of central process. Conversely, these two postures presented different characteristics and a relative independence. Both postures displayed specific biomechanical constraints and involved specific effectors, in particular along the anterior-posterior axis. Thus, performances in these two postures are completely independent in the anterior-posterior axis, whereas they are slightly linked in the medio-lateral axis. Improved trunk functions to improve postural stability have an interest solely to improve lateral stabilization.

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Luke I. Macris and Michael P. Sam

With growing governmental involvement in sport, there has been a corresponding demand on national sport organizations (NSOs) to operate within performance measurement systems. In this study, we analyze data from New Zealand to determine NSO officials’ perceptions of (a) their reporting relationship with the central agency (Sport and Recreation New Zealand), and (b) the system of performance contracts (or “investment schedules”). Following Norman (2002), we found differing perceptions regarding the legitimacy of performance systems and three tensions emerged. First, the clarity of focus enabled by performance measurement was tempered by the perception of an ever-changing political environment. Second, NSO officials acted strategically and opportunistically at times, marshalling arguments around performance measures to “capture” their principal. Third, neither trust nor distrust in the system necessarily translated into compliance; some NSOs sought independence from the system. This research speaks to the legitimacy of performance systems, a significant but tenuous element to their sustainability.

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Joseph F. Signorile, David Sandler, Fangchao Ma, Steve Bamel, Damian Stanziano, Wes Smith, Bernard A. Roos and Lauran Sandals

This study examined the validity, reliability, and discriminatory capacity of the gallon-jug shelf-transfer (GJST) test. Six hundred fifty-three independent-living older adults (463 women age 72.9 ± 7.0 years, 190 men age 74.3 ± 6.7 years) participated. Participants moved five 1-gallon jugs (≈3.9 kg) from a knee-high to a shoulder-high shelf as quickly as possible. The GJST showed an exponential performance decline with age, and there were significant correlations between the GJST and common functional tests (p < .001). High within-day and between-days reliability was detected. The test also detected differences resulting from training status (p < .01) and training protocols (p < .05). The GJST is a valid, reliable, inexpensive, safe, and easily administered clinical test for identifying physically vulnerable elders who could benefit from interventions such as exercise to improve their physical capacities and maintain independence.

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Claudia Meyer, Susan Williams, Frances Batchelor and Keith Hill

Introduction:

The aim was to identify barriers and opportunities facing community health physiotherapists in delivering a home-based balance exercise program to address mild balance dysfunction and, secondly, to understand the perspectives of older people in adopting this program.

Method:

Focus groups, written surveys, and data recording sheets were used with nine older people and five physiotherapists. Focus groups were audio taped, transcribed, and coded independently by two researchers.

Results:

Thematic content analysis was undertaken. Emerging themes were: engaging in preventive health (various benefits, enhancing independence); adoption of strategies (acceptable design and implementation feasibility); exercising in context (convenience, practicality, and safety); and broader implementation issues (program design, proactive health messages, and a solid evidence base).

Conclusion:

The views of older people and physiotherapists were sought to understand the adoption of a previously successful home-based program for mild balance dysfunction. Understanding the unique context and circumstances for individuals and organizations will enhance adoption.