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Bonnie Field, Tom Cochrane, Rachel Davey and Yohannes Kinfu

The aim of this study was to identify determinants of walking and whether walking maintained mobility among women as they transition from their mid-70s to their late 80s. We used 12 years of follow-up data (baseline 1999) from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health (n = 10,322). Fifteen determinants of walking were included in the analysis and three indicators of mobility. Longitudinal data analyses techniques were employed. Thirteen of the 15 determinants were significant predictors of walking. Women in their mid-70s who walked up to 1 hr per week were less likely to experience loss of mobility in very old age, including reduced likelihood of using a mobility aid. Hence, older women who do no walking should be encouraged to walk to maintain their mobility and their independence as they age, particularly women in their 70s and 80s who smoke, are overweight, have arthritis, or who have had a recent fall.

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Cassandra J. de Lacy-Vawdon, Ruth Klein, Joanna Schwarzman, Genevieve Nolan, Renee de Silva, David Menzies and Ben J. Smith

In response to the aging global population, the World Health Organization (WHO) is developing a Global Strategy and Action Plan on Aging and Health ( World Health Organization, 2015 ). Healthy aging has recently been re-framed to emphasize the capacity of individuals and the interactions between

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David Geard, Peter R.J. Reaburn, Amanda L. Rebar and Rylee A. Dionigi

During the 20th century, approximately 30 years were added to human life expectancy ( Oeppen & Vaupel, 2002 ). This increase in life expectancy, coupled with better health care and declining fertility rates, has led to a significant aging of the global population. Consequently, the number of people

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Ellen F. Binder, Marybeth Brown, Suzanne Craft, Kenneth B. Schechtman and Stanley J. Birge

Fifteen community dwelling older adults, ages 66 to 97 years, with at least one risk factor for recurrent falls, attended a thrice weekly group exercise class for 8 weeks. In post- versus preexercise comparisons, knee extensor torque at 0°/sec increased by 16.5% (p = 0.055); time to perform the stand-up test once, and five times consecutively, improved by 29.4 and 27.4%, respectively (p = 0.05, p = 0.01); gait speed for 24 feet increased by 16.5% (p < 0.001); and performance of the progressive Romberg test of balance improved with a mean increase of 1.1 ± 0.9 positions (p = 0.001). Participants reported a significant increase in the mean number of times per week that they went out of their apartment/home independent of exercising, and a significant increase in the mean number of city blocks they could walk. Performance data for nine exercise participants at 1-yr postintervention are presented. A low- to moderate-intensity groups exercise program can effect improvements in lower extremity strength, gait speed, balance, and self-reported mobility function in frail older adults.

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Telassin Silva Homem, Fernando Silva Guimarães, Maurício Santos Soares, Leandro Kasuki, Mônica Roberto Gadelha and Agnaldo José Lopes

Advances in the knowledge of acromegaly are leading to an increase in the survival rate of acromegalic subjects. This study was conducted to evaluate balance control, risk of falls, and peripheral muscle function in acromegalic older adults. Seventeen older subjects with acromegaly (67 [63–73] years) and 20 paired control subjects were evaluated with balance scales, force platform, and knee isokinetic dynamometry tests. There were significant differences between the groups on several balance and gait scales, with a worse performance and greater risk of falls in the acromegalic older adults. Acromegalic older adults had lower values for peak torque, maximum repetition of the total work, and total work during extension at 240°/s. The acromegalic older adults had higher values in the medial-lateral range. Acromegaly subjects had lateral instability that compromises their body balance and increases the risk of falls. Moreover, there was a propensity for muscle fatigue in these individuals.

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Pantelis T. Nikolaidis, Stefania Di Gangi and Beat Knechtle

,000,000 finishers in 2014. In contrast to the number of marathon races that remained stable (∼1,100 races per year), the number of half-marathons increased to 2,800 races in 2016 from 2,700 races in 2015 ( www.runningusa.org/half-marathon-report-2017 ). Little is known about the age-related performance decline in

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Susan Williams, Claudia Meyer, Frances Batchelor and Keith Hill

The objective of this study was to determine whether improved balance outcomes achieved in a randomized controlled trial (RCT) using balance screening to identify mild balance dysfunction and home exercises could be translated into community settings. Community-dwelling people aged over 65 who expressed concerns about their balance, had less than two falls in the preceding 12 months, and who had mild balance impairment on screening were given an individualized home-based balance and strengthening exercise program with intermittent home-visit support by a physiotherapist. Of 71 participants assessed (mean age 77.3 years, 76% female), 58 (82%) completed the six-month intervention. Twenty six percent of participants regained balance performance within normal limits—similar to those achieved in the previous RCT. Successful results from a previous RCT were able to be translated into community settings, with a similar magnitude of effect on balance and mobility.

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Gordon R. Chalmers and Kathleen M. Knutzen

The aim of this study was to determine whether elderly and young adults with similar physical activity levels have similar soleus H-wave maximum/M-wave maximum ratios (H-reflex size) and to determine the relationship between H-reflex size and physical activity level. H-reflex size and physical activity levels were measured in 18 elderly (71 ± 5.7 years) and 20 young (24 ± 4.2) participants. The physical activity levels of the 2 groups were not significantly different. The elderly group had smaller H-rellexes than the young group (elderly. 36% ± 27%; young, 59% ± 17%; p < .05), but the effect of age on H-reflex size was only moderate (omega squared = .19, effect size = .30). There was a weak tendency for higher levels of physical activity to be associated with larger H reflexes (r = .38, p < .05). The findings indicate that soleus H-reflex size is not strongly associated with age or physical activity level.

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Jaap Swanenburg, Karel H. Stappaerts, Bart Tirez, Daniel Uebelhart and Geert Aufdemkampe

The purpose of this study was to present a method for repeated measurement of flexion force of the hallux in the metatarsophalangeal joint. The reliability of this measurement device was also examined. This device is suitable for situations where weight-bearing is contraindicated or when it is not possible for patients to bear load on their toes, such as hallux valgus patients. Since most such patients are female, the participants in this study were 24 healthy female volunteers. Age, weight, height, and leg dominance were determined for each. Muscle strength was measured using a device with a built-in MicroFET dynamometer. The result for the left hallux was ICC(3,1) .89 (95% CI .77–.95). The result for the right hallux was ICC(3,1) .94 (95% CI .87–.97). In the Bland and Altman plots, the reliability again appeared to be sufficient. The Pearson product-moment correlations gave poor results for the association between body weight, height, age, and mean force of the four trails. The test results indicate good reliability of the measurement device as used in this study. The advantage of this testing device is that it makes it easier to standardize measurements as opposed to the MicroFET used as a hand-held dynamometer. Also, patients can be tested in a nonload situation, which makes it possible to test hallux valgus at any time, and therefore it is possible to monitor variations in progression (or regression).

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Kristin Taraldsen, Beatrix Vereijken, Pernille Thingstad, Olav Sletvold and Jorunn L. Helbostad

The aim of the study was to investigate the precision of estimated upright time during one week in community-dwelling older adults after hip fracture when monitoring activity for different numbers of consecutive days. Information about upright time was collected by thigh-worn accelerometers during 7 consecutive days in 31 older adults (mean age 81.8 years ± 5.3) 3 months after hip-fracture surgery. Mean time in upright position, including both standing and walking, was 260.9 (±151.2) min/day. A cutoff value of half an hour was used to provide recommendations about number of recording days. Large variability between participants between days, as well as a nonconstant within-participant variability between days indicates that at least 4 consecutive days of recording should be used to obtain a reliable estimate of upright time for individual persons. However, at a group level, one day of recording is sufficient.