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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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Daniël M. van Leeuwen, Fabian van de Bunt, Cornelis J. de Ruiter, Natasja M. van Schoor, Dorly J.H. Deeg and Kaj S. Emanuel

patients ( Mizner & Snyder-Mackler, 2005 ; Yoshida, Mizner, Ramsey, & Snyder-Mackler, 2008 ). A combination of tests, such as the short physical performance battery (SPPB) assesses function over a broader range and can be applied in a home setting with limited space and with older patients ( Cesari et

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Zakkoyya H. Lewis, Kyriakos S. Markides, Kenneth J. Ottenbacher and Soham Al Snih

We investigated the relationship between physical activity and physical function on the risk of falls over time in a cohort of Mexican-American adults aged 75 and older from the Hispanic Established Population for the Epidemiologic Study of the Elderly (H-EPESE). Participants were divided into four groups according to their level of physical activity and physical function: low physical activity and low physical function (n = 453); low physical activity and high physical function (n = 54); high physical activity and low physical function (n = 307); and high physical activity and high physical function (n = 197). Using generalized linear equation estimation, we showed that participants with high physical activity and low physical function had a greater fall risk over time, followed by the high physical activity and high physical function group. Participants seldom took part in activities that improve physical function. To prevent falls, modifications to physical activity should be made for older Mexican Americans.

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Jian Xu, Poram Choi, Robert W. Motl and Stamatis Agiovlasitis

, 2012 ; Oppewal, Hilgenkamp, van Wijck, & Evenhuis, 2013 ). Lower-extremity physical functioning can be evaluated with the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB), which has been applied to a wide range of populations, including community-dwelling older adults, adults with multiple sclerosis, and

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Katie L. Cederberg, Robert W. Motl and Edward McAuley

physical function, based on the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB), and this coincides with elevated risk for developing future disability ( Motl, Chaparro, Hernandez, Balto, & Sandroff, 2016 ; Motl et al., 2015 ). There is increasing interest in the application of physical activity as a behavioral

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Chung-Chao Liang, Qi-Xing Change, Yu-Chou Hung, Chizan-Chung Chen, Chun-Hsiang Lin, Yu-Chun Wei and Jia-Ching Chen

participants. Short Physical Performance Battery The Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) test consists of the following three items regarding physical performance. (a) Timed balance test: Participants are instructed to stand as long as they are able within 10 s in side-by-side, semitandem, and tandem

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Edward M. Phillips, Jeffrey Katula, Michael E. Miller, Michael P. Walkup, Jennifer S. Brach, Abby C. King, W. Jack Rejeski, Tim Church and Roger A. Fielding

Objectives:

To examine baseline characteristics and change in gait speed and Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) scores in participants medically suspended (MS) from a physical activity intervention (PA).

Design:

Randomized controlled trial.

Setting:

University and community centers.

Participants:

Sedentary older adults (N = 213) randomized to PA in the Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders Pilot (LIFE-P).

Measurements:

MS was defined as missing 3 consecutive PA sessions in adoption and transition phases or 2 wk in maintenance phase because of a health event.

Results:

In all, 122 participants completed PA without MS (NMS subgroup), 48 participants underwent MS and resumed PA (SR subgroup), and 43 participants underwent MS and did not complete PA (SNR subgroup). At baseline, SNR walked slower (p = .03), took more prescribed medications (p = .02), and had lower SPPB scores than NMS and SR (p = .02). Changes from baseline to Month 12 SPPB scores were affected by suspension status, adjusted mean (SE) SPPB change: SNR 0.0957 (0.3184), SR 0.9413 (0.3063), NMS 1.0720 (0.1871); p = .03.

Conclusions:

MS participants unable to return to complete the PA in a trial of mobility-limited sedentary older adults had slower walking speeds, lower SPPB scores, and a higher number of prescribed medications at baseline. Change in SPPB scores at 12 months was related to suspension status.

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Tanya Trayers, Debbie A. Lawlor, Kenneth R. Fox, Jo Coulson, Mark Davis, Afroditi Stathi and Tim Peters

Associations of objectively measured physical activity (PA) with objectively measured lower limb function in adults age 70 and older were studied. Lower limb function was assessed using the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) and PA by an accelerometer providing mean daily counts per minute (CPM), mean daily steps and minutes of moderate or vigorous PA (MVPA) per day. A minority (32 [13%]) scored low (≤6 out of a maximum of 12) on the SPPB, but only 3 (1%) achieved recommended PA levels. Adjusting for confounders, the odds ratio of low SPPB (≤6) comparing those in the lowest one third to highest two thirds of mean CPM was 55 (95%CI: 6, 520); for mean steps per day it was 23 (95%CI: 4, 137) and for minutes of MVPA per day 56 (95%CI: 6, 530). Low levels of PA are common and are associated with poor levels of lower limb function in older adults.

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Anthony P. Marsh, Elizabeth A. Chmelo, Jeffrey A. Katula, Shannon L. Mihalko and W. Jack Rejeski

The purpose of this study was to determine whether a walking program supplemented by tasks designed to challenge balance and mobility (WALK+) could improve physical function more than a traditional walking program (WALK) in older adults at risk for mobility disability. 31 community-dwelling older adults (M ± SD age = 76 ± 5 yr; Short Physical Performance Battery [SPPB] score = 8.4 ± 1.7) were randomized to treatment. Both interventions were 18 sessions (1 hr, 3×/wk) and progressive in intensity and duration. Physical function was assessed using the SPPB and the 400-m-walk time. A subset of participants in the WALK group who had relatively lower baseline function showed only small improvement in their SPPB scores after the intervention (0.3 ± 0.5), whereas a subset of participants in the WALK+ group with low baseline function showed substantial improvement in their SPPB scores (2.2 ± 0.7). These preliminary data underscore the potential importance of tailoring interventions for older adults based on baseline levels of physical function.

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Sarah Roberts, Elizabeth Awick, Jason T. Fanning, Diane Ehlers, Robert W. Motl and Edward McAuley

Previous evidence suggests physical activity interventions effectively produce short-term improvements in physical function for older adults. The present study examined whether improvements in physical function after a DVD-delivered exercise intervention were maintained 18 months postintervention. Older adults (n = 153) randomized to a 6-month DVD-delivered exercise intervention or an attentional control condition were contacted 18 months postintervention. Participants completed the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) and measures of flexibility, strength, and functional limitations were taken. Analyses of variance were conducted to determine if improvements in physical function as a result of the intervention were maintained at follow-up. Improvements in the SPPB, F (1,125) = 3.70, p = .06, η2 = .03, and upper body strength, F (1,121) = 3.04, p = .08, η2 = .03 were maintained for the intervention condition. Home-based DVD exercise training interventions may hold promise for long-term maintenance of physical function in older adults.