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Michelle Gray, Sally Paulson and Melissa Powers

The aim of this investigation was to determine the relationship between usual and maximal walking velocities with measures of functional fitness (FF). Fifty-seven older adults (78.2 ± 6.6 years) were recruited from a local retirement community. All participants completed the following assessments: 10-m usual and maximal walk, Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB), 6-min walk (6MW), 8-foot up-and-go (UPGO), and 30-s chair stand. Based on their SPPB performance, low (≤ 9) and high (≥ 10) FF groups were formed. Among all participants, maximal walking velocity, not usual walking velocity, was significantly correlated with SPPB (r = .35; p < .05 and r = .19; p > .05, respectively). In the high functioning group, both maximal and usual walking velocities were correlated, but correlation coefficients were stronger for all variables for maximal walking velocity. These results suggest different walking conditions may be necessary to use for high and low functioning older adults; specifically, maximal walking velocity may be a preferred measure among high functioning older adults.

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Christie L. Ward, Rudy J. Valentine and Ellen M. Evans

Adiposity, lean mass, and physical activity (PA) are known to influence physical function in older adults, although the independent influences are not completely characterized. Older adults (N = 156, M age = 68.9 ± 6.7 yr, 85 men) were assessed for body composition via dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, PA by accelerometer, and physical function via timed up-and-go (UP&GO), 30-s chair stand, 6-min walk (6-min WALK), and Star-Excursion Balance Test. In the absence of percentage-body-fat by PA interactions (p > .05), main effects existed such that a higher percentage body fat was associated with poorer performance in UP&GO, 30-s chair stand, and 6-min WALK (p < .05). No significant main effects were found for PA and functional performance. Adiposity explains 4.6–11.4% in physical functional variance (p < .05). Preventing increases in adiposity with age may help older adults maintain functional independence.

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Ruth E. Taylor-Piliae, Kathryn A. Newell, Rise Cherin, Martin J. Lee, Abby C. King and William L. Haskell

Objective:

To compare the effects of Tai Chi (TC, n = 37) and Western exercise (WE, n = 39) with an attention-control group (C, n = 56) on physical and cognitive functioning in healthy adults age 69 ± 5.8 yr, in a 2-phase randomized trial.

Methods:

TC and WE involved combined class and home-based protocols. Physical functioning included balance, strength, flexibility, and cardiorespiratory endurance. Cognitive functioning included semantic fluency and digit-span tests. Data were analyzed using intention-to-treat analysis.

Results:

At 6 mo, WE had greater improvements in upper body flexibility (F = 4.67, p = .01) than TC and C. TC had greater improvements in balance (F = 3.36, p = .04) and a cognitive-function measure (F = 7.75, p < .001) than WE and C. The differential cognitive-function improvements observed in TC were maintained through 12 mo.

Conclusion:

The TC and WE interventions resulted in differential improvements in physical functioning among generally healthy older adults. TC led to improvement in an indicator of cognitive functioning that was maintained through 12 mo.

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Yuko Oguma, Yusuke Osawa, Michiyo Takayama, Yukiko Abe, Shigeho Tanaka, I-Min Lee and Yasumichi Arai

Background:

To date, there is no physical activity (PA) questionnaire with convergent and construct validity for the oldest-old. The aim of the current study was to investigate the validity of questionnaire-assessed PA in comparison with objective measures determined by uniaxial and triaxial accelerometers and physical performance measures in the oldest-old.

Methods:

Participants were 155 elderly (mean age 90 years) who were examined at the university and agreed to wear an accelerometer for 7 days in the 3-year-follow-up survey of the Tokyo Oldest-Old Survey of Total Health. Fifty-nine participants wore a uniaxial and triaxial accelerometer simultaneously. Self-rated walking, exercise, and household PA were measured using a modified Zutphen PA Questionnaire (PAQ). Several physical performance tests were done, and the associations among PAQ, accelerometer-assessed PA, and physical performances were compared by Spearman’s correlation coefficients.

Results:

Significant, low to moderate correlations between PA measures were seen on questionnaire and accelerometer assessments (ρ = 0.19 to 0.34). Questionnaireassessed PA measure were correlated with a range of lower extremity performance (ρ = 0.21 to 0.29).

Conclusions:

This PAQ demonstrated convergent and construct validity. Our findings suggest that the PAQ can reasonably be used in this oldest-old population to rank their PA level.

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Daisuke Uritani, Takahiko Fukumoto, Daisuke Matsumoto and Masayuki Shima

Evaluating toe flexor strength may be an important method for predicting and preventing walking dysfunction and falls, particularly among older adults. In this study, toe grip strength (TGS), the functional reach (FR, a measure of dynamic balance) test, the timed up and go (TUG) test (a measure of functional ability), isometric knee extension strength (IKES), sex, age, weight, and height were analyzed among 665 healthy Japanese older adults. Statistical analyses were used to assess the relationships between TGS and FR or TUG and to investigate whether TGS was independently associated with FR or TUG. Our results indicate that, among both men and women, TGS was associated with TUG, independent of age, height, weight, and IKES, but TGS was not associated with FR. These results may facilitate the development of strategies for improving functional mobility through physical therapy.

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Minyoung Lee, Min Joo Kim, Dongwon Suh, Jungjin Kim, Eunkyoung Jo and BumChul Yoon

Little is known about the effectiveness of self-determination theory (SDT), a representative motivational theory, on exercise domain in older adults. This feasibility study used quantitative and qualitative approaches to evaluate the effectiveness of a 13-month group exercise program applying SDT-based motivational strategies on exercise adherence, physical fitness, and quality of life, and to explore factors affecting exercise adherence in South Korean older adults (N = 18). Exercise attendance rate was high (82.52%). There were significant differences in aerobic endurance (p < .001), lower body strength (p < .05), dynamic balance (p < .001), and perceived social functioning (p < .05) at 13 months compared with baseline. Factors affecting exercise adherence were related to the SDT-based motivational strategies. These results support the importance of health professionals applying SDT-based motivational strategies to exercise programs to help facilitate motivation for participation and to promote physical fitness and quality of life in older adults.

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Marie-Louise Bird and James Fell

This study investigated the effect of Pilates exercise on physical fall risk factors 12 months after an initial 5-week Pilates intervention. The authors hypothesized that ongoing Pilates participation would have a positive effect on physical fall risk factors in those who continued with Pilates exercise compared with those who ceased. Thirty older ambulatory adults (M = 69 years, SD = 7) participated in Pilates classes for 5 weeks with testing preintevention (Time 1 [T1]) and postintervention (Time 2 [T2]) and 12 months later (Time 3 [T3]). Balance and leg strength were compared using a 2-way analysis of variance with repeated measures. Postural sway, dynamic balance, and function improvements evident after the initial Pilates training (T1–T2) were maintained at T3 (p < .01). Significant differences existed at T3 for dynamic balance and strength between participants who continued performing Pilates (n = 14) and those who had ceased. Balance improvements after a short Pilates intervention were maintained 1 year later in all participants, with increased benefits from ongoing participation.

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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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Cátia Paixão, Ana Tavares and Alda Marques

or limit participation in the study or data collection; and (c) signs of substance abuse (e.g., alcohol, drugs). Data Collection Sociodemographic data (age, gender, and years of formal education); setting (institution and community dwelling); and clinical (type of dementia [medical diagnosis from

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Samuel R. Nyman

Falls among older adults have been researched since the 1940s and are internationally recognized as a public health issue ( Speechley, 2011 ; World Health Organization, 2007 ). For community-dwelling adults aged 65 and above, approximately one in three fall each year, and this frequency increases