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Boris Cheval, Philippe Sarrazin, Luc Pelletier and Malte Friese

Background:

Promoting regular physical activity (PA) and lessening sedentary behaviors (SB) constitute a public health priority. Recent evidence suggests that PA and SB are not only related to reflective processes (eg, behavioral intentions), but also to impulsive approach-avoidance tendencies (IAAT). This study aims to test the effect of a computerized IAAT intervention on an exercise task.

Methods:

Participants (N = 115) were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 experimental conditions, in which they were either trained to approach PA and avoid SB (ApPA-AvSB condition), to approach SB and avoid PA (ApSB-AvPA condition), or to approach and avoid PA and SB equally often (active control condition). The main outcome variable was the time spent carrying out a moderate intensity exercise task.

Results:

IAAT toward PA decreased in the ApSB-AvPA condition, tended to increase in the ApPA-AvSB condition, and remained stable in the control condition. Most importantly, the ApPA-AvSB manipulation led to more time spent exercising than the ApSB-AvPA condition. Sensitivity analyses excluding individuals who were highly physically active further revealed that participants in the ApPA-AvSB condition spent more time exercising than participants in the control condition.

Conclusions:

These findings provide preliminary evidence that a single intervention session can successfully change impulsive approach tendencies toward PA and can increase the time devoted to an exercise task, especially among individuals who need to be more physically active. Potential implications for health behavior theories and behavior change interventions are outlined.

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Terttu Parkatti, Jarmo Perttunen and Phyllis Wacker

This study examined the effects of an instructed structured Nordic walking (NW) exercise program on the functional capacity of older sedentary people. Volunteers were randomly assigned to an NW group (68.2 ± 3.8 yr old) or control group (69.9 ± 3.0 yr old). Before and at the end of the 9-wk intervention, functional tests and 2-dimensional ground-reaction-force (GRF) patterns of normal (1.40 m/s) and fast (1.94 m/s) walking speeds were measured. The intervention included a 60-min supervised NW session on an inside track twice a week for 9 wk. The mean changes in functional tests differed between groups significantly. Gait analyses showed no significant differences between the groups on any GRF parameters for walking speed either before or after the intervention. The study showed that NW has favorable effects on functional capacity in older people and is a suitable form of exercise for them.

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Richard A. Boileau, Edward McAuley, Demetra Demetriou, Naveen K. Devabhaktuni, Gregory L. Dykstra, Jeffery Katula, Jane Nelson, Angelo Pascale, Melissa Pena and Heidi-Mai Talbot

A trial was conducted to examine the effect of moderate aerobic exercise training (AET) on cardiorespiratory (CR) fitness. Previously sedentary participants, age 60-75 years, were randomly assigned to either AET treatment or a control group for 6 months. The AET consisted of walking for 40 min three times/week at an intensity that elevated heart rate to 65% of maximum heart rate reserve. The control group performed a supervised stretching program for 40 min three times/week. CR fitness was assessed before and after the treatments during a grade-incremented treadmill walking test. Both absolute and relative peak V̇O2 significantly increased (p < .01) in the AET group, whereas they decreased modestly in the control group. Maximum treadmill time increased significantly (p < .01) in the AET group relative to the control group. These results indicate that CR fitness as measured by peak V̇O2 modestly improves in the elderly with a moderate-intensity, relatively long-term aerobic exercise program.

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Gal Dubnov-Raz, Harri Hemilä, Avner H. Cohen, Barak Rinat, Lauryn Choleva and Naama W. Constantini

Observational studies identified associations between vitamin D insufficiency (serum 25(OH)D > 30ng·ml−1) and risk of upper respiratory infection (URI). Swimmers are highly prone to URIs, which might hinder their performance. The aim of this study was to examine if vitamin D3 supplementation reduces URI burden in vitamin D-insufficient swimmers. Fifty-five competitive adolescent swimmers with vitamin D insufficiency were randomized to receive vitamin D3 (2,000IU·d4) or placebo for 12 winter weeks. A URI symptom questionnaire was completed weekly. Serum 25(OH)D concentrations were measured by radio-immunoassay before and after supplementation. We used linear regression to examine the relation between the change in 25(OH)D concentrations during the trial, and the duration and severity of URIs. There were no between-group differences in the frequency, severity, or duration of URIs. Exploratory analyses revealed that in the placebo group only, the change in 25(OH)D concentrations during the trial was highly associated with the duration of URIs (r = −0.90,p > .001), and moderately associated with the severity of URIs (r = −0.65,p = .043). The between-group differences for duration were highly significant. Vitamin D3 supplementation in adolescent swimmers with vitamin D insufficiency did not reduce URI burden. However, larger decreases in serum 25(OH)D concentrations were associated with significantly longer and more severe URI episodes.

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Susanne James-Burdumy, Nicholas Beyler, Kelley Borradaile, Martha Bleeker, Alyssa Maccarone and Jane Fortson

Background:

The Playworks program places coaches in low-income urban schools to engage students in physical activity during recess. The purpose of this study was to estimate the impact of Playworks on students’ physical activity separately for Hispanic, non-Hispanic black, and non-Hispanic white students.

Methods:

Twenty-seven schools from 6 cities were randomly assigned to treatment and control groups. Accelerometers were used to measure the intensity of students’ physical activity, the number of steps taken, and the percentage of time in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) during recess. The impact of Playworks was estimated by comparing average physical activity outcomes in treatment and control groups.

Results:

Compared with non-Hispanic black students in control schools, non-Hispanic black students in Playworks schools recorded 338 more intensity counts per minute, 4.9 more steps per minute, and 6.3 percentage points more time in MVPA during recess. Playworks also had an impact on the number of steps per minute during recess for Hispanic students but no significant impact on the physical activity of non-Hispanic white students.

Conclusions:

The impact of Playworks was larger among minority students than among non-Hispanic white students. One possible explanation is that minority students in non-Playworks schools typically engaged in less physical activity, suggesting that there is more room for improvement.

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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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Rachel A. Jones, Annaleise Riethmuller, Kylie Hesketh, Jillian Trezise, Marijka Batterham and Anthony D. Okely

The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility, acceptability and potential efficacy of a physical activity program for preschool children. A 20-week, 2-arm parallel cluster randomized controlled pilot trial was conducted. The intervention comprised structured activities for children and professional development for staff. The control group participated in usual care activities, which included designated inside and outside playtime. Primary outcomes were movement skill development and objectively measured physical activity. At follow-up, compared with children in the control group, children in the intervention group showed greater improvements in movement skill proficiency, with this improvement statically significant for overall movement skill development (adjust diff. = 2.08, 95% CI 0.76, 3.40; Cohen’s d = 0.47) and significantly greater increases in objectively measured physical activity (counts per minute) during the preschool day (adjust diff. = 110.5, 95% CI 33.6, 187.3; Cohen’s d = 0.46). This study demonstrates that a physical activity program implemented by staff within a preschool setting is feasible, acceptable and potentially efficacious.

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Leigh F. Callahan, Rebecca J. Cleveland, Mary Altpeter and Betsy Hackney

Objective:

Evaluate effectiveness of the Arthritis Foundation Tai Chi Program for community participants with arthritis.

Methods:

343 individuals were randomized to either the intervention or wait-list control group. Performance and self-reported outcome (SRO) measures were assessed at baseline and eight weeks. At one year, SROs only were assessed. Adjusted means were determined using regression models adjusting for covariates, and effect sizes (ES) were calculated.

Results:

Average participant age was 66 years, 87% were female, and 87% were Caucasian. Among 284 (83%) participants who returned at eight weeks, balance by reach (ES = 0.30) and helplessness, sleep, and role participation satisfaction (ES = 0.24–0.54) improved significantly; pain, fatigue, and stiffness improvement (ES = 0.15–0.23) approached significance. No change was noted in mobility, lower extremity strength, or single-leg stance balance. At one year, improvements in pain, fatigue, stiffness, helplessness, and role participation satisfaction at eight weeks were maintained; 30% continued tai chi practice.

Conclusion:

Moderate effectiveness of the Arthritis Foundation Tai Chi Program was confirmed.

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Brittany T. MacEwen, Travis J. Saunders, Dany J. MacDonald and Jamie F. Burr

Background:

Sit-stand desks reduce workplace sitting time among healthy office workers; however, their metabolic and behavioral impact in higher risk populations remains unknown.

Methods:

25 office workers with abdominal obesity were randomized to an intervention (sit-stand workstation) or control group (seated desk) for 12 weeks. Physical activity, sedentary behavior, and cardiometabolic risk factors were assessed before and after the intervention period in both groups.

Results:

In comparison with the control group, which did not change, the intervention group experienced significant reductions in workday (344 ± 107 to 186 ± 101 min/day) and total (645 ± 140 to 528 ± 91 min/day) sitting time, as well as increases in workday standing time (154 ± 108 to 301 ± 101 min/day, P < .05). There were no changes in sitting or standing time outside of work hours, steps taken each day, or any marker of cardiometabolic risk in either group (all P > .05).

Conclusion:

Sit-stand desks were effective in reducing workplace sedentary behavior in an at-risk population, with no change in sedentary behavior or physical activity outside of work hours. However, these changes were not sufficient to improve markers of cardiometabolic risk in this population.

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Maria Giné-Garriga, Míriam Guerra, Esther Pagès, Todd M. Manini, Rosario Jiménez and Viswanath B. Unnithan

The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether a 12-wk functional circuit-training program (FCT) could alter markers of physical frailty in a group of frail community-dwelling adults. Fifty-one individuals (31 women, 20 men), mean age (± SD) 84 (± 2.9) yr, met frailty criteria and were randomly assigned into groups (FCT = 26, control group [CG] = 25). FCT underwent a 12-wk exercise program. CG met once a week for health education meetings. Measures of physical frailty, function, strength, balance, and gait speed were assessed at Weeks 0, 12, and 36. Physical-frailty measures in FCT showed significant (p < .05) improvements relative to those in CG (Barthel Index at Weeks 0 and 36: 73.41 (± 2.35) and 77.0 (± 2.38) for the FCT and 70.79 (± 2.53) and 66.73 (± 2.73) for the CG. These data indicate that an FCT program is effective in improving measures of function and reducing physical frailty among frail older adults.