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Mati Pääsuke, Jaan Ereline, Helena Gapeyeva, Kadri Joost, Karin Mõttus and Pille Taba

The lower extremity performance in elderly female patients with mild to moderate Parkinson’s disease (PD; n = 12) and controls (n = 16) was compared. Isometric dynamometry and force-plate measurements were used. PD patients had lower (p < .05) bilateral (BL) maximal isometric leg-extension force (MF), BL isometric MF relative to body mass, and maximal rate of isometric force development than control participants. BL strength deficit was greater (p < .05) in PD patients than in controls. A significantly longer chair-rise time and lower maximal rate of vertical-ground-reaction-force development while rising from a chair was found in PD patients than in controls. These findings suggest that elderly women with PD have lowered voluntary isometric force-generation capacity of the leg-extensor muscles. Reduced BL leg-extension strength might contribute to the difficulty of individuals with PD to rise from a chair.

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Jitka Jancova-Vseteckova, Martin Bobak, Ruzena Kubinova, Nada Capkova, Anne Peasey, Michael G. Marmot and Hynek Pikhart

Background:

The aim was to examine the association of objective measures of physical functioning (PF) with education and material circumstances and the decline in PF with age by socioeconomic position (SEP).

Methods:

In 3,205 subjects (60–75 years) from the Czech Republic, we assessed relationship between PF, SEP, and age. Linear regression was used to assess PF measures and SEP measures.

Results:

Cross-sectional decline in PF by age was similar in all individuals. Differences between SEP groups were similar across age groups, except for the difference in walk speed by material circumstances in men—bigger at older ages (p = .004). Men and women with the highest education were about 2 s faster at the chair rise test than those with the lowest education.

Discussion:

Findings suggest strong educational gradient in PF, an inconsistent role of self-assessed material circumstances, and virtually no interaction of SEP with the cross-sectional decline in PF by age.

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Stefan Schmid, Stéphane Armand, Zoltan Pataky, Alain Golay and Lara Allet

An important prerequisite to carry out daily activities is the sit-to-stand movement. However, in obese people, this movement is characterized by altered biomechanics, which might lead to daily life activity impairments. The aim of this study was to investigate whether there are differences in kinetic and kinematic variables between three different BMI categories when performing a specific sit-to-stand test. Thirty-six adult women (BMI = 17–45 kg/m2) performed the sit-to stand test five times consecutively and as quickly as possible. Analyses of variance were used to determine differences between three BMI groups (normal or overweight: BMI < 30 kg/m2; obese: 30 ≤ BMI < 35; severely obese: BMI ≥ 35). Peak and mean vertical sacrum velocity indicated a decrease in severely obese subjects. Obese and severely obese individuals did not show higher fatigue over the five consecutive movements. Peak force and rate of force development decreased in normal or overweight subjects. The ability to successfully complete the test decreased with a higher BMI, probably due to a reduced ability to rapidly generate a high force.

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Margaret K.Y. Mak, Oron Levin, Joseph Mizrahi and Christina W.Y. Hui-Chan

Calculation of joint torques during the rising phase of sit-to-stand motion is in most cases indeterminate, due to the unknown thighs/chair reaction forces in addition to the other sources of uncertainties such as joint positioning and anthropometric data. In the present study we tested the reliability of computation of the joint torques from a five-segment model; we used force plate data of thighs/chair and feet/ground reaction forces, in addition to kinematic measurements. While solving for joint torques before and after seat-off, differences between model solutions and measured data were calculated and minimized using an iterative algorithm for the reestimation of joint positioning and anthropometric properties. The above method was demonstrated for a group of six normal elderly persons.

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Daniel Leightley, Moi Hoon Yap, Jessica Coulson, Mathew Piasecki, James Cameron, Yoann Barnouin, Jon Tobias and Jamie S. McPhee

-leg stand and slow chair-rise time ( Jordre, Schweinle, Oetjen, Dybsetter, & Braun, 2016 ), although postural stability was not measured in this study. Knowing the extent to which athletic older people are unstable during challenging balance tasks and other common movements (such as sit to stand) may

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L. Jerome Brandon, Lisa W. Boyette, Deborah A. Gaasch and Adrienne Lloyd

This study evaluated the effects of a 4-month lower extremity strength-training program on mobility in older adults. Eighty-five older adults (43 experimental, ES, and 42 comparison, CS) with a mean age of 72.3 years served as participants. The ES strength-trained plantar flexors (PF), knee flexors (KF), and knee extensors (KE) 1 hr/day, 3 days a week for 4 months. Both the ES and CS were evaluated for PF, KF, and KE strength (1 RM) and the time required to complete floor rise, chair rise, 50-ft walk, and walking up and down stairs before and after the training intervention. The ES increased (p < .05) both absolute (51.9%) and relative strength (1 RM/body weight, 52.4%) after training. Only chair-rise and floor-rise tasks improved significantly after training. Baseline and posttraining mobility tasks predicted from 1 RMs had low to moderate R values. These results suggest that strength is necessary for mobility, but increasing strength above baseline provides only marginal improvement in mobility for reasonably fit older adults.

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Jenni Kulmala, Tiia Ngandu, Satu Pajala, Jenni Lehtisalo, Esko Levälahti, Riitta Antikainen, Tiina Laatikainen, Heikki Oksa, Markku Peltonen, Rainer Rauramaa, Hilkka Soininen, Timo Strandberg, Jaakko Tuomilehto and Miia Kivipelto

Background:

Physical activity (PA) has beneficial effects on older age physical functioning, but longitudinal studies with follow-ups extending up to decades are few. We investigated the association between leisure-time PA (LTPA) and occupational PA (OPA) from early to late adulthood in relation to later life performance-based physical functioning.

Methods:

The study involved 1260 people aged 60 to 79 years who took part in assessments of physical functioning (Short Physical Performance Battery [SPPB] test, 10-m maximal walking test, and grip strength test). Participants’ data on earlier life LTPA/OPA (age range 25 to 74 years) were received from the previous studies (average follow-up 13.4 years). Logistic, linear, and censored regression models were used to assess the associations between LTPA/OPA earlier in life and subsequent physical functioning.

Results:

A high level of LTPA earlier in life was associated with a lower risk of having difficulties on the SPPB test (odds ratio [OR]: 0.37; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.24–0.58) and especially on the chair rise test (OR: 0.42; 95% CI, 0.27–0.64) in old age. Heavy manual work predicted difficulties on SPPB (OR: 1.91; 95% CI, 1.22–2.98) and the chair rise test (OR: 1.75; 95% CI, 1.14–2.69) and poorer walking speed (β = .10, P = .005).

Conclusions:

This study highlights the importance of LTPA on later life functioning, but also indicates the inverse effects that may be caused by heavy manual work.

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Lennart Scheys, Alberto Leardini, Pius D. Wong, Laurent Van Camp, Barbara Callewaert, Johan Bellemans and Kaat Desloovere

The availability of detailed knee kinematic data during various activities can facilitate clinical studies of this joint. To describe in detail normal knee joint rotations in all three anatomical planes, 25 healthy subjects (aged 22–49 years) performed eleven motor tasks, including walking, step ascent and descent, each with and without sidestep or crossover turns, chair rise, mild and deep squats, and forward lunge. Kinematic data were obtained with a conventional lower-body gait analysis protocol over three trials per task. To assess the repeatability with standard indices, a representative subset of 10 subjects underwent three repetitions of the entire motion capture session. Extracted parameters with good repeatability included maximum and minimum axial rotation during turning, local extremes of the flexion curves during gait tasks, and stride times. These specific repeatable parameters can be used for task selection or power analysis when planning future clinical studies.

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Olivier Seynnes, Olivier A. Hue, Frédéric Garrandes, Serge S. Colson, Pierre L. Bernard, Patrick Legros and Maria A. Fiatarone Singh

The relationship between isometric force control and functional performance is unknown. Submaximal steadiness and accuracy were measured during a constant force-matching task at 50% of maximal isometric voluntary contraction (MVC) of the knee extensors in 19 older women (70–89 years). Other variables included MVC, rate of torque development, and EMG activity. Functional performance was assessed during maximal performance of walking endurance, chair rising, and stair climbing. Isometric steadiness (but not accuracy) was found to independently predict chair-rise time and stair-climbing power and explained more variance in these tasks than any other variable. Walking endurance was related to muscle strength but not steadiness. These results suggest that steadiness is an independent predictor of brief, stressful functional-performance tasks in older women with mild functional impairment. Thus, improving steadiness might help reduce functional limitations or disability in older adults.

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Ibrahim M. Altubasi

, & Gennosa, 1993 ) and also associated with the slow performance of physical functional tasks, such as chair rise ( Alexander, Schultz, Ashton-Miller, Gross, & Giordani, 1997 ; Schiller, Casas, Tracy, DeSouza, & Seals, 2000 ), stair ascending, and stair descending ( Hurley et al., 1998 ; Schiller et