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Todd A. Gilson and Anthony Deldin

In the next 45 years it is estimated that individuals aged 65 and older will increase by 93% in the United States. This population will require a reexamination in thinking related to what retirement is and how seniors desire to maintain their quality of life. Thus, with this demographic shift, new career opportunities will be available for students in older adult fitness, and kinesiology graduates can be at the forefront of providing physical activity to promote public health. Through the exploration of an off-campus clinical exercise gerontology experience at Northern Illinois University, specifics of the program and potential barriers are discussed, with an eye toward assisting other institutions that wish to begin/enhance a similar program. Finally, benefits and future opportunities are highlighted showing how this partnership has led to an improved quality of life for seniors and strengthened relationships with the larger community.

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Hiroshi Shibata

In 1991 the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology launched a new longitudinal interdisciplinary study on aging (TMIG-LISA). The study is designed to run until at least 2001 and includes both an observation and an intervention component. The intervention component was started in 1996 and was designed to assess the extent to which it might be possible to retard the rate of the aging process and prevent geriatric diseases and chronic conditions. In this article, a brief overview of the aims, objectives, and design and some preliminary outcomes from the TMIG-LISA are presented.

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Liam D. Harper, Adam Field, Liam D. Corr, and Robert J. Naughton

. , Schwartz , A.V. , . . . Newman , A.B. ( 2006 ). The loss of skeletal muscle strength, mass, and quality in older adults: The health, aging and body composition study . The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 61 ( 10 ), 1059 – 1064 . doi:10.1093/gerona/61

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Neelesh K. Nadkarni, Karl Zabjek, Betty Lee, William E. McIlroy, and Sandra E. Black

Changes in gait parameters induced by the concomitant performance of one of two cognitive tasks activating working memory and spatial attention, was examined in healthy young adults (YA) and older adults (OA). There was a main effect of task condition on gait-speed (p = .02), stride-length (p < .001) and double-support time (p = .04) independent of the group. There were no significant differences between working memory and spatial attention associated gait changes. Working-memory and spatial-attention dual-tasking led to a decrease in gait-speed (p = .09 and 0.01) and stride-length (p = .04 and 0.01) and increase in double-support time (p = .01 and 0.03) in YA and decrease in stride-length (p = .04 and 0.01) alone in OA. Cognitive task associated changes in gait may be a function of limited attentional resources irrespective of the type of cognitive task.

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Declan Ryan, Jorgen Wullems, Georgina Stebbings, Christopher Morse, Claire Stewart, and Gladys Onambele-Pearson

Background: Physical behavior [PB, physical activity (PA), and sedentary behavior (SB)] can adjust cardiovascular mortality risk in older adults. The aim of this study was to predict cardiovascular parameters (CVPs) using 21 parameters of PB. Methods: Participants [n = 93, 73.8 (6.23) y] wore a thigh-mounted accelerometer for 7 days. Phenotype of the carotid, brachial, and popliteal arteries was conducted using ultrasound. Results: Sedentary behavior was associated with one of the 19 CVPs. Standing and light-intensity PA was associated with 3 and 1 CVP, respectively. Our prediction model suggested that an hourly increase in light-intensity PA would be negatively associated with popliteal intima-media thickness [0.09 mm (95% confidence interval, 0.15 to 0.03)]. sMVPA [moderate–vigorous PA (MVPA), accumulated in bouts <10 min] was associated with 1 CVP. 10MVPA (MVPA accumulated in bouts ≥10 min) had no associations. W50% had associations with 3 CVP. SB%, alpha, true mean PA bout, daily sum of PA bout time, and total week 10MVPA each were associated with 2 CVP. Conclusions: Patterns of PB are more robust predictors of CVP than PB (hours per day). The prediction that popliteal intima-media thickness would be negatively associated with increased standing and light-intensity PA engagement suggests that older adults could obtain health benefits without MVPA engagement.

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Roee Holtzer, Cuiling Wang, and Joe Verghese

The current study critically assessed the relationship between cognitive functions and gait in nondemented older adults. Quantitative measures of gait (velocity, cadence, and a coefficient of variance in stride length) were assessed in single and dual-task conditions. Three cognitive factors captured the domains of Executive Attention, Verbal IQ, and Memory. Linear regressions showed that Executive Attention was related to velocity in both walking conditions. However, Memory and Verbal IQ were also related to velocity. Memory was related to Cadence in both walking conditions. Executive Attention was related to the coefficient of variance in stride length in both walking conditions. Linear mixed effects models showed that dual-task costs were largest in velocity followed by cadence and the coefficient of variance in stride length. The relationship between cognitive functions and gait depends, in part, on the analytic approach used, gait parameters assessed, and walking condition.

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Pirkko Markula, Bevan C. Grant, and Jim Denison

There has been a notable increase in research on aging and physical activity in recent years. Most of this research derives from the natural sciences, using quantitative methods to examine the consequences of the physically aging body. Although these investigations have contributed significantly to our knowledge, to further understand the complex meanings attached to physical activity we also need social-science research. The article explores how a variety of social scientists (positivisls, postpositivists, interpretive social scientists, critical social scientists, poststructuralists, and postmodernists) who use quantitative and qualitative methods approach physical activity and aging. Through examples from research on aging and physical activity, the authors highlight the differences, possibilities, and limitations of each research approach. Their intention is not to declare one research approach superior to any other but to increase awareness and acceptance of different paradigms and to encourage dialogue between those who study aging and physical activity from a variety of perspectives.

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Renata M. Bielemann, Marysabel P.T. Silveira, Bárbara H. Lutz, Vanessa I.A. Miranda, Maria Cristina Gonzalez, Soren Brage, Ulf Ekelund, and Andréa Dâmaso Bertoldi

Background: Previous observations regarding association between physical activity (PA) and use of medicines among older adults are derived from self-reported PA. This study aimed to evaluate the association between objectively measured PA and polypharmacy among older adults with multimorbidity in Southern Brazil. Methods: This study included 875 noninstitutionalized older people, aged ≥60 years. Prescribed medicines used in the 15 days prior to the interview, socioeconomic data, and the presence of comorbidities were self-reported. Accelerometers were used to evaluate PA following the interview. Results: Prevalence of polypharmacy (≥5 medicines) was 38.3% (95% confidence interval, 35.0–41.5); those belonging to the lowest tertile of PA used more medicines. The authors observed a significant inverse association for polypharmacy between men belonging to the second and third tertiles of PA for objectively measured overall PA and light PA compared with the most inactive tertile. For women, the association between PA and polypharmacy was significant for overall, light, and moderate to vigorous PA only in the third tertile. Conclusions: Overall, light and moderate to vigorous PA were inversely associated to polypharmacy and differed by gender. Promotion of PA in older adults may be an effective intervention to reduce the number of medicines used independent of the number of comorbidities.

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Renato Sobral Monteiro-Junior, Paulo de Tarso Maciel-Pinheiro, Eduardo da Matta Mello Portugal, Luiz Felipe da Silva Figueiredo, Rodrigo Terra, Lara S. F. Carneiro, Vinícius Dias Rodrigues, Osvaldo J. M. Nascimento, Andrea Camaz Deslandes, and Jerson Laks

Background: Inflammatory cytokines and acute phase proteins increase with aging, promoting a chronic low-grade inflammation. Studies have shown a positive effect of exercise on inflammatory markers in older persons. Interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and C-reactive protein (CRP) are the main biomarkers investigated. However, it is unclear if exercise could decrease all these biomarkers. Purpose: The aim was to analyze the effect of chronic exercise on IL-6, TNF-α, and CRP levels in older persons. Methods: Preferred Reporting Items in Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses guidelines were adopted. Original articles that investigated the effect of chronic exercise on inflammatory profile of the elderly persons were eligible for this review. The databases PubMed, PEDro, EBSCO, and BioMed Central were searched. Three reviewers evaluated each publication for reducing bias. Data about IL-6, TNF-α, and CRP were collected and analyzed. A standardized mean difference based on estimated pooled effect size was calculated considering heterogeneity index (I 2) and random effect. Results: Seventy-six studies were retrieved from databases, and 8 of them were analyzed. IL-6 and CRP levels decreased after chronic exercise (overall effect P < .05). Conclusion: Regular exercise decreases IL-6 and CRP levels in older persons. The effect of exercise on TNF-α remains unclear.

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Declan J. Ryan, Jorgen A. Wullems, Georgina K. Stebbings, Christopher I. Morse, Claire E. Stewart, and Gladys L. Onambele-Pearson

Background: The aim of the study was to provide an isotemporal substitution model to predict how changes in physical behavior may affect the cardiovascular parameters (CVPs) of older adults. Methods: Participants wore a thigh-mounted accelerometer for 7 days. Phenotype of the carotid, brachial, and popliteal artery was conducted using ultrasound. Isotemporal substitution was used to simulate the degree to which replacing 1 hour of physical behavior with another would affect CVP. Results: Substitution of sedentary behavior with Standing and sporadic moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA accumulated in bouts <10 min) would reduce resting heart rate [−6.20 beats per minute (−12.1 to −0.22) and −3.72 beats per minute (−7.01 to −0.44), respectively]. Substitution of sedentary behavior with light-intensity physical activity would reduce carotid artery diameter [−0.54 mm (−1.00 to −0.07)]. Substitution of Standing with sporadic MVPA would increase popliteal artery diameter [1.31 mm (0.11 to 2.51)]. Conclusions: Our modeling suggests that an accumulation of MVPA bouts that are shorter than the recommended 10-minute minimum may still improve CVP, with lower intensity physical activity also influencing CVP. Our findings are a promising avenue for lifestyle interventions in older adults to reduce the aging effects on CVP for those who cannot engage or sustain sufficient MVPA.