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Katherine R. Saul, Meghan E. Vidt, Garry E. Gold and Wendy M. Murray

Our purpose was to characterize shoulder muscle volume and isometric moment, as well as their relationship, for healthy middle-aged adults. Muscle volume and maximum isometric joint moment were assessed for 6 functional muscle groups of the shoulder, elbow, and wrist in 10 middle-aged adults (46–60 y, 5M, 5F). Compared with young adults, shoulder abductors composed a smaller percentage of total muscle volume (P = .0009) and there was a reduction in shoulder adductor strength relative to elbow flexors (P = .012). We observed a consistent ordering of moment-generating capacity among functional groups across subjects. Although total muscle volume spanned a 2.3-fold range, muscle volume was distributed among functional groups in a consistent manner across subjects. On average, 72% of the variation in joint moment could be explained by the corresponding functional group muscle volume. These data are useful for improved modeling of upper limb musculoskeletal performance in middle-aged subjects, and may improve computational predictions of function for this group.

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Hiroko Shimura, Takemi Sugiyama, Elisabeth Winkler and Neville Owen

Background:

Neighborhood walkability shows significant positive relationship with residents’ walking for transport in cross-sectional studies. We examined prospective relationships of neighborhood walkability with the change in walking behaviors over 4 years among middle-to-older aged adults (50–65 years) residing in Adelaide, Australia.

Methods:

A baseline survey was conducted during 2003–2004, and a follow-up survey during 2007–2008. Walking for transport and walking for recreation were assessed at both times among 504 adults aged 50–65 years living in objectively determined high- and low-walkable neighborhoods. Multilevel linear regression analyses examined the associations of neighborhood walkability with changes over 4 years in walking for transport and walking for recreation.

Results:

On average, participants decreased their time spent in walking for transport (–4.1 min/day) and for recreation (–3.7 min/day) between the baseline and 4-year follow-up. However, those living in high-walkable neighborhoods showed significantly smaller reduction (adjusted mean change: –1.1 min/day) in their time spent in walking for transport than did those living in low-walkable neighborhoods (–6.7 min/day). No such statistically-significant differences were found with the changes in walking for recreation.

Conclusions:

High-walkable neighborhoods may help middle-to-older aged adults to maintain their walking for transport.

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Casey Jordan Mace, Ralph Maddison, Timothy Olds and Ngaire Kerse

Background:

The Multimedia Activity Recall for Children and Adults (MARCA) is a computerized recall instrument that records use of time during 24 hr the previous day and has been developed to address limitations of current self-report physical activity measures for those in advanced age.

Methods:

Test–retest reliability and convergent validity of the adult MARCA were assessed in a sample of 45 advanced-age adults (age 84.9 SD ± 1.62 yr) as a subsample of the Life and Living in Advanced-Age Cohort Study New Zealand (LiLACS NZ). Test–retest methods required participants to recall the previous day’s activity using the MARCA twice within the same day. Convergent validity was assessed against accelerometry.

Results:

Test–retest reliability was high, with ICCs greater than .99 for moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and physical activity level (PAL). Compared with accelerometry, the MARCA demonstrated validity comparable to other self-report instruments with Spearman’s coefficients of .34 and .59 for time spent in nonsedentary physical activity and PAL.

Conclusion:

The MARCA is a valid and reliable self-report tool for physical activity behaviors in advanced-age adults.

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Yu-Kai Chang, I-Hua Chu, Feng-Tzu Chen and Chun-Chih Wang

The present research attempts to evaluate the dose-response relationship between acute resistance exercise and planning. Seventeen participants performed the Tower of London (TOL) in control condition and three different exercise intensity conditions (40%, 70%, and 100% 10-repetition maximal) in a counterbalanced order. The results revealed positive effects of an acute bout of resistance exercise on the TOL. Specifically, a curvilinear trend was observed between exercise intensity and TOL scores that measured performances of “correct” and “move,” where moderate intensity demonstrated the most optimal performance compared with the other conditions. None of these differences were found in TOL scores that measure performances of “violation” and “planning speed.” These results suggest that acute moderate intensity resistance exercise could facilitate planning-related executive functions in middle-aged adults.

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Tanya R. Berry, Wendy M. Rodgers, Alison Divine and Craig Hall

reduced risk of chronic diseases ( Colley et al., 2011 ). Yet, it is in this age range that rates of chronic disease start to increase ( Public Health Agency of Canada, 2016 ). Therefore, health is often promoted as a reason to be active and is a commonly cited motive to be active in middle-aged adults

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Hiroko Shimura, Elisabeth Winkler and Neville Owen

Background:

We examined associations of individual, psychosocial and environmental characteristics with 4-year changes in walking among middle-to-older aged adults; few such studies have employed prospective designs.

Methods:

Walking for transport and walking for recreation were assessed during 2003–2004 (baseline) and 2007–2008 (follow-up) among 445 adults aged 50–65 years residing in Adelaide, Australia. Logistic regression analyses examined predictors of being in the highest quintile of decline in walking (21.4 minutes/day or more reduction in walking for transport; 18.6 minutes/day or more reduction in walking for recreation).

Results:

Declines in walking for transport were related to higher level of walking at baseline, low perceived benefits of activity, low family social support, a medium level of social interaction, low sense of community, and higher neighborhood walkability. Declines in walking for recreation were related to higher level of walking at baseline, low self-efficacy for activity, low family social support, and a medium level of available walking facilities.

Conclusions:

Declines in middle-to-older aged adults’ walking for transport and walking for recreation have differing personal, psychosocial and built-environment correlates, for which particular preventive strategies may be developed. Targeted campaigns, community-based programs, and environmental and policy initiatives can be informed by these findings.

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Denise M. Jones, Harvi F. Hart, Kay M. Crossley, Ilana N. Ackerman and Joanne L. Kemp

count and activity minutes undertaken by healthy young to middle-aged adults in a free-living environment. Secondary aims were to evaluate the number of days of step count data retrieved from the two grades of device over a two-week period and report relative output of step count for the two grades of

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Susan J. Leach, Joyce R. Maring and Ellen Costello

The aim of this study was to investigate whether a 6-week Divided-Attention Stepping Accuracy Task (DATSAT) intervention improved the primary outcome measure, maximal step length; other balance measures (Berg Balance scale and Timed Up and Go test); leg strength; endurance (6-min walk test); and functional tasks in 15 community-dwelling healthy older adults (x¯ age: 71.5 years, female: 46.7%) compared with 15 community-dwelling healthy older adults in a Bike and Strength (B&S) program (x¯ age: 73.8 years, female: 33.3%). Participants trained 3× per week, 30–60 min per session. Stepping-group differences were significant for all measures. B&S group improved in maximal step length (anterior and lateral), strength, and one functional task. Stepping group outperformed B&S group in Timed Up and Go and maximal step length posterior. B&S group outperformed stepping group in two strength measures. Exertion scores were lower for the stepping group. Overall, Divided-Attention Timed Stepping Accuracy Task training resulted in more within-group improvements and two between-group measures with less perceived effort and shorter intervention times.

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Jordan M. Glenn, Michelle Gray, Jennifer L. Vincenzo and Matthew S. Stone

Muscular power decreases with age, and lower-body power relates to overall functional fitness; however, functional lower-body power has not been evaluated in late-middle-aged (LMA) populations.

Purpose:

To evaluate average and peak lower-body functional power and velocity among sedentary (SED), recreationally active (RA), and masters athlete (MA) LMA adults.

Methods:

Participants were SED (n = 13, age = 59.3 ± 4.5 years), RA (n = 35, age = 59.6 ± 5.0 years), and MA (n = 26, age = 56.7 ± 5.4 years). Five sit-to-stand trials were completed to assess lower-body functional power. Average/peak power and velocity were calculated for each trial. Power was expressed relatively to account for participant body weight.

Results:

MA (13.44 ± 2.76 W/kg) had significantly (p < .01) greater peak power compared with SED (9.99 ± 2.70 W/ kg) and RA (9.93 ± 2.30 W/kg). Similar significant (p < .01) differences existed for peak velocity (SED = 1.02 ± 0.22 m/s, RA = 1.04 ± 0.22 m/s, MA = 1.25 ± 0.19 m/s). No differences existed for average power or velocity between groups.

Conclusions:

Maintaining a competitively active lifestyle results in greater lower-body functional power in LMA adults and may support longitudinal functionality.

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Jordan M. Glenn, Jennifer Vincenzo, Collin K. Canella, Ashley Binns and Michelle Gray

Gait speed predicts survival in older adults; however, gait has not been evaluated in late middle-aged (LMA) populations.

Purpose:

Evaluate single- and dual-task gait speeds among sedentary (SED), recreationally active (RA), and masters athlete (MA) LMA adults.

Methods:

Participants were SED (n = 20, age = 61.0 ± 5.8), RA (n = 57, age = 63.5 ± 8.4), and MA (n = 25, age = 57.5 ± 7.9). Two trials of each task (10 m) were completed: habitual speed (HS), maximal speed (MS), dual-task (counting backward from a number by 3) habitual speed (DT-HS), and dual-task maximal speed (DT-MS).

Results:

MA (2.08 ± 0.63 m/s) had significantly (p < .05) greater MS compared with SED (1.94 ± 0.30 m/s) and RA (1.99 ± 0.53 m/s). Similar differences existed for DT-MS (SED = 1.77 ± 0.32 m/s, RA = 1.80 ± 0.51 m/s, MA = 1.89 ± 0.63 m/s). MA had smaller MS and DT-MS changes (difference between MS and DT-MS speeds) compared with RA (12%) and SED (13%).

Conclusion:

Maintaining a competitively active lifestyle increases MS in LMA adults and may support healthy aging.