This review examines the effects of exercise and physical activity on the psychological well-being of older adults. Unlike most of the literature in this area, this review focuses primarily on those psychosocial outcomes that are generally positive in nature. As well as considering the overall effects of physical activity, the roles of program length, subject sex, age, physical fitness, and measurement are considered. Overall, the results of the 38 studies reviewed are overwhelmingly positive, with the majority reporting positive associations between physical activity and psychological well-being. This relationship appears to be moderated by the length of the exercise programs; longer programs consistently report more positive results. There is little evidence that exercise has differential psychological effects on men and women or on individuals of differing ages. Whereas training protocols seem to result in significant changes in physical fitness and well-being, such improvements appear to be unrelated. The review concludes with a brief discussion of possible mechanisms underlying the physical activity/psychological health relationship, and several directions are recommended for future research.
Edward McAuley and David Rudolph
James Curtis, Philip White, and Barry McPherson
This study reports on age-group differences in leisure-time sport and physical activity involvement among a large sample of Canadians interviewed at 2 points during the 1980s. Comparisons are made for 5 age cohorts, for men and women, and without and with multivariate controls. The results contradict the usual finding of an inverse relationship between age and level of physical activity. On measures of (a) activity necessary to produce health benefits and (b) energy expenditure. Canadians over 65 were as active as, or more active than, their younger counterparts, and their activities did not decline over the 7 years between interviews. The extent of change varied by age and across women and men. Among women, increases in involvement were greatest in the middle-aged. Among men, the greatest increase was in the oldest age groups. For both genders, the youngest age cohort showed the smallest change over time, and there was evidence of slight declines in activity levels among young men.
Marianne Haguenauer, Pierre Legreneur, and Karine M. Monteil
To our knowledge jumping kinematics have never been studied in elderly persons. This study was aimed at examining the influence of aging on vertical jump performance and on interjoint coordination. Two groups of adults, 11 young men ages 18–25 years and 11 older men ages 79–100 years, were filmed while performing a maximal squat jump. Compared to young adults, jump height was significantly decreased by 28 cm in the elderly. Older adults spontaneously jumped from a more extended position of the hip. Results showed a decrease in hip, knee, and ankle linear velocity and angular amplitude with aging. The decrease in jump height was attributed to a decrease in explosive force and in the range of shortening of extensor muscles. In agreement with the literature, a proximo-distal coordination pattern was observed in young adults. Older adults used a simultaneous pattern. This may indicate that adults adjust their pattern of joint coordination as they age.
Wojtek J. Chodzko-Zajko
This paper presents a brief overview of some of the major issues associated with research design in experimental gerontology. The intention is not to provide a comprehensive and detailed guide to experimental design and research methods. Rather, the paper focuses on a more general discussion of several issues associated with the design, implementation, and interpretation of research in an attempt to illustrate why a rudimentary knowledge of these topics is essential for all researchers and practitioners involved in the study of the aging process. Wherever possible, specific examples from the exercise science and applied health literature are selected in order to illustrate the significance of these factors for our field of expertise.
Fabien D. Legrand, William M. Bertucci, and Joanne Hudson
A crossover experiment was performed to determine whether age and sex, or their interaction, affect the impact of acute aerobic exercise on vigor-activity (VA). We also tested whether changes in VA mediated exercise effects on performance on various cognitive tasks. Sixty-eight physically inactive volunteers participated in exercise and TV-watching control conditions. They completed the VA subscale of the Profile of Mood States immediately before and 2 min after the intervention in each condition. They also performed the Trail Making Test 3 min after the intervention in each condition. Statistical analyses produced a condition × age × sex interaction characterized by a higher mean VA gain value in the exercise condition (compared with the VA gain value in the TV-watching condition) for young female participants only. In addition, the mediational analyses revealed that changes in VA fully mediated the effects of exercise on TMT-Part A performance.
Richelle M. Williams, Trevor Rice, Kenneth Lam, and Tamara Valovich McLeod
Postural control is an integral part of sport participation and is often measured when assessing concussion and rehabilitating musculoskeletal injuries. The purpose of this study was to determine whether developmental differences in postural control, as measured by the Stability Evaluation Test protocol, exist between multiple male age groups (9–25-years-old). Significant differences were present across age groups, suggesting pediatric males demonstrated higher sway velocity scores than older males. We also found that preadolescent males showed increased postural sway when compared with older populations. Overall, it was found that age-related differences exist in postural control, with older males demonstrating less sway, and therefore better postural control.
Jian Xu, Poram Choi, Robert W. Motl, and Stamatis Agiovlasitis
ID ( Hilgenkamp, van Wijck, & Evenhuis, 2014 ). That research further demonstrated that being physically active decreased or eliminated associations of scores on the abovementioned tests with older age and ID levels ( Hilgenkamp et al., 2014 ). Past research in older adults residing at assisted care
Tsz Lun (Alan) Chu, Bailey Sommerfeld, and Tao Zhang
in sport settings (see Li, Wang, Pyun, & Kee, 2013 ; Pacewicz, Mellano, & Smith, 2019 ). However, examination of the roles of demographic factors, including gender and age, in athlete burnout has been limited ( Granz et al., 2019 ). For coaches and sport psychology professionals (SPPs) to
Jaehun Jung, Willie Leung, Bridgette Marie Schram, and Joonkoo Yun
), activities they participate in (type, duration, and intensity), as well as family influences (socioeconomic and medical history). Examples of factors that are considered biological include age, gender, and medical history. Finally, social factors, such as availability and accessibility of appropriate
Ben Desbrow, Nicholas A. Burd, Mark Tarnopolsky, Daniel R. Moore, and Kirsty J. Elliott-Sale
undesirable health consequences, including delayed puberty, menstrual irregularities, poor bone health, short stature, the development of disordered eating behaviors, and increased risk of injury. Furthermore, in females ≤14 years gynecological age, the effects of low EA may be more pronounced ( Loucks, 2006