There is strong evidence that older adults greatly benefit from regular physical activity. Yet, older age is consistently associated with lower levels of aerobic physical activity and strength training and higher levels of sedentary behavior, underscoring the need to better understand physical activity behavior in this population. Reviews of interventions to increase physical activity have overall yielded promising results. Interventions based on behavior theory appear to be more effective than non-theory-based interventions, yet strategies from these theories are underutilized in both research and practice. This paper discusses the importance of behavioral interventions, cites findings from the Active for Life initiative to illustrate several key concepts, and provides recommendations to address significant gaps in the literature, including the use of theory, mediation analyses, physical activity maintenance, diversity of participants, and dissemination and translational research.
Sanna Takkinen, Timo Suutama and Isto Ruoppila
This study examined longitudinally the predictive value of physical activity for a sense of meaning in life and for self-rated health and functioning. The study was part of the Evergreen Project in Jyväskylä, Finland. A representative sample (N = 198) of elderly persons born between 1904 and 1913 was interviewed in 1988 and followed up in 1996. The interviews dealt with physical, psychological, and social functioning. The interview questions selected for this study dealt with the intensity of physical activity, meaning in life, and self-rated health and functioning. Longitudinal models showed that physical activity had a positive effect on both meaning in life and self-rated health and functioning. Physical activity and meaning in life also had indirect effects on self-rated health and functioning.
The concept that participation in exercise/physical activity reduces the risk for a host of chronic diseases is undisputed. Along with adaptations to habitual activity, each bout of exercise induces beneficial changes that last for a finite period of time, requiring subsequent exercise bouts to sustain the benefits. In this respect, exercise/physical activity is similar to other “medications” and the idea of “Exercise as Medicine” is becoming embedded in the popular lexicon. Like other medications, exercise has an optimal dose and frequency of application specific to each health outcome, as well as interactions with food and other medications. Using the prevention of type-2 diabetes as an exemplar, the application of exercise/physical activity as a medication for metabolic “rehabilitation” is considered in these terms. Some recommendations that are specific to diabetes prevention emerge, showing the process by which exercise can be prescribed to achieve health goals tailored to individual disease prevention outcomes.
CONFERENCE ABSTRACTS Abstracts From the 31st Pediatric Exercise Physiology Meeting: Children-Exercise-Physical Activity & Sport Performance (September 2019, Umeå, Sweden) 2 2020 32 S1 S1 S12 10.1123/pes.2020-0002 pes.2020-0002 PES Pediatric Exercise Science 0899-8493 1543-2920 2 2020 32 S
Guy C. Wilson, Yorgi Mavros, Lotti Tajouri and Maria Fiatarone Singh
Background: Variations in genotype may contribute to heterogeneity in functional adaptations to exercise. Methods: A systematic search of eight databases was conducted, and 9,696 citations were screened. Results: Eight citations from seven studies measuring 10 single-nucleotide polymorphisms and nine different functional performance test outcomes were included in the review. There was one observational study of physical activity and six experimental studies of aerobic or resistance training. The ACE (D) allele, ACTN3 (RR) genotype, UCP2 (GG) genotype, IL-6-174 (GG) genotype, TNF-α-308 (GG) genotype, and IL-10-1082 (GG) genotype all predicted significantly superior adaptations in at least one functional outcome in older men and women after prescribed exercise or in those with higher levels of physical activity. Conclusion: There is a small amount of evidence that older adults may have better functional outcomes after exercise/physical activity if they have specific alleles related to musculoskeletal function or inflammation. However, more robust trials are needed.
Alon Eliakim, Bareket Falk, Neil Armstrong, Fátima Baptista, David G. Behm, Nitzan Dror, Avery D. Faigenbaum, Kathleen F. Janz, Jaak Jürimäe, Amanda L. McGowan, Dan Nemet, Paolo T. Pianosi, Matthew B. Pontifex, Shlomit Radom-Aizik, Thomas Rowland and Alex V. Rowlands
This commentary highlights 23 noteworthy publications from 2018, selected by leading scientists in pediatric exercise science. These publications have been deemed as significant or exciting in the field as they (a) reveal a new mechanism, (b) highlight a new measurement tool, (c) discuss a new concept or interpretation/application of an existing concept, or (d) describe a new therapeutic approach or clinical tool in youth. In some cases, findings in adults are highlighted, as they may have important implications in youth. The selected publications span the field of pediatric exercise science, specifically focusing on: aerobic exercise and training; neuromuscular physiology, exercise, and training; endocrinology and exercise; resistance training; physical activity and bone strength; growth, maturation, and exercise; physical activity and cognition; childhood obesity, physical activity, and exercise; pulmonary physiology or diseases, exercise, and training; immunology and exercise; cardiovascular physiology and disease; and physical activity, inactivity, and health.
Elizabeth Orsega-Smith, Laura L. Payne and Geoffry Godbey
The purpose of this study was to evaluate a community-based exercise program for adults 60 years and older. Specifically, the authors sought to examine selected physical and psychosocial indicators of health among low-, moderate-, and high-frequency participants. Data on selected physical-fitness variables from baseline and 6-month follow-up assessments were available for 196 members. In addition, 265 current members completed a mailed questionnaire regarding frequency of program participation, health, demographics, and psychosocial outcomes. Significant improvements in endurance and flexibility were documented for the group at large over 6 months, and the low-participation group showed a significant increase in flexibility. Self-efficacy was higher for those in both the low- and high-frequency groups than for those in the moderate-participation group. Exercise-based social support was reported to be higher among the low- and high-participation groups than among the moderate-participation group. Results suggest that community-based programs and community parks and recreation agencies are a viable context for senior exercise/physical activity programs.
Raymond D. Starling
Aging is associated with a decline in daily energy expenditure that is disproportionately greater than the decline in daily energy intake. Collectively, these events can create a “positive” energy balance, secondary gains in central and total body fat, and a subsequently higher risk of morbidity and mortality. Participation in regular physical activity is a logical strategy to attenuate the decline in energy expenditure with aging, as physical activity can comprise between 10–50% of an older person’s daily energy expenditure. Understanding the influence of regular physical activity on energy expenditure with advancing age is clinically relevant, particularly since estimates predict that nearly 25% of the population will be ≥ 65 years of age by the year 2030. This brief review will focus on the current state of aging, energy expenditure, and physical activity literature. Topics to be addressed include: (a) measurement of physical activity in older adults; (b) aging and physical inactivity; and (c) influence of regular aerobic exercise on resting metabolic rate (RMR), thermic effect of food (TEF), and non-exercising physical activity.
Rohack * 4 2001 9 2 115 127 10.1123/japa.9.2.115 Research More Meaning by Exercising? Physical Activity as a Predictor of a Sense of Meaning in Life and of Self-Rated Health and Functioning in Old Age Sanna Takkinen * Timo Suutama * Isto Ruoppila * 4 2001 9 2 128 141 10.1123/japa.9.2.128 Testing a