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Amy Rauer and Lyndsey M. Hornbuckle

The current study explored concordance in spouses’ perceptions about exercise and how these perceptions predicted observed and self-reported marital functioning using a sample of 64 older married couples. Although couples were similarly motivated to exercise, their views on their physical fitness and potential barriers to exercise were uncorrelated. Dyadic analyses suggested that spouses’ exercise perceptions, particularly husbands’, were associated with how spouses treated each other during a marital problem-solving task and with their concurrent and future marital satisfaction. Exploring how spouses’ views of exercise are related to their marital functioning and for whom these links are most salient may highlight potential opportunities and challenges for those wishing to strengthen couples’ individual and relational well-being through exercise.

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William L. Dunlop and Mark R. Beauchamp

In this article, the authors report the results of a case study examining a group-based exercise program for older adult men. The purpose of the investigation was to identify the elements of this program responsible for its appeal. Interviews, conducted with a purposely sampled subset of program members, were subject to content-analytic procedures. Participants identified social connectedness (reflected by themes of demographic homogeneity, support and care, customs and traditions, and interpersonal comparisons) and supportive leadership behaviors (constituted by communication, the provision of choice, and individualized attention) as major attractions in the program. A few participants also noted the challenge that exists when a program is seen by some as being a social program that provides opportunities for exercise and by others as an exercise program that provides opportunities for socializing. Findings are discussed in relation to contextual factors associated with older adult men’s involvement in physical activity programs.

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Joowon Lee, Baojiang Chen, Harold W. Kohl III, Carolyn E. Barlow, Chong do Lee, Nina B. Radford, Laura F. DeFina and Kelley P. Gabriel

adulthood is favorably associated with a lower burden of carotid atherosclerosis. Consequently, adopting a physically active lifestyle in older adulthood may reduce CVD-related morbidity and mortality, as well as the cost of health care. However, our findings were inconsistent with other studies that

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Christine B. Phillips, Jerri D. Edwards, Ross Andel and Marcus Kilpatrick

Physical activity (PA) is believed to preserve cognitive function in older adulthood, though little is known about these relationships within the context of daily life. The present microlongitudinal pilot study explored within- and between-person relationships between daily PA and cognitive function and also examined within-person effect sizes in a sample of community-dwelling older adults. Fifty-one healthy participants (mean age = 70.1 years) wore an accelerometer and completed a cognitive assessment battery for five days. There were no significant associations between cognitive task performance and participants’ daily or average PA over the study period. Effect size estimates indicated that PA explained 0–24% of within-person variability in cognitive function, depending on cognitive task and PA dose. Results indicate that PA may have near-term cognitive effects and should be explored as a possible strategy to enhance older adults’ ability to perform cognitively complex activities within the context of daily living.

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Kathleen M. Haywood and Kathleen Williams

This study examined tennis serving in older adult tennis players. Twenty-two older adults, divided into younger and older halves, were videotaped serving five “first” serves. Dominant shoulder flexibility also was measured. From the videotape, servers were classified into developmental levels and their resultant ball impact velocity was calculated. An Age × Gender (2 × 2) mixed model MANOVA yielded no significant differences between the age groups or between men and women in flexibility, ball impact velocity, or movement pattern. A few combinations of the developmental levels of elbow and forearm/racket action were used by the majority of servers. Regular practice might consolidate older adults in these attractor movement patterns, making them more resilient to change than with less practiced skills. These results suggest practice in older adulthood favorably affects performance by resulting in consistency of movement pattern and maintenance of movement pattern, flexibility, and ball impact speed.

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Kelly A. Cotter and Margie E. Lachman

Background:

Physical activity is an essential ingredient in the recipe for successful aging, yet physical activity engagement declines with advancing age.

Methods:

In a national sample of 3848 participants aged 32 to 84 (55% women), we examined potential psychosocial moderators of the relationship between age and physical activity.

Results:

In a cross-sectional hierarchical multiple regression analysis [Adj. R 2 = .14, F(10, 3546) = 57.10, P < .001] we found that participants reporting higher education (β = .08), higher social support (β = .05), higher social strain (β = .12), and a higher sense of control (β = .09) were significantly more physically active. Furthermore, 2 significant interactions showed that higher education and higher social strain were associated with higher physical activity in older adulthood, suggesting that social strain and education may protect against age-related declines in physical activity.

Conclusions:

Social strain may positively influence adaptive health promoting behaviors. Potential pathways are considered.

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Caterina Pesce

In exercise and cognition research, few studies have investigated whether and how the qualitative aspects of physical exercise may impact cognitive performance in the short or long term. This commentary, after recalling the evidence on the “dose-response” relationship, shifts the focus to intersections between different research areas that are proposed to shed light on how qualitative exercise characteristics can be used to obtain cognitive benefits. As concerns the acute exercise area, this commentary highlights the applied relevance of developmental and aging studies investigating the effects of exercise bouts differing in movement task complexity and cognitive demands. As regards the chronic exercise area, potential links to research on cognitive expertise in sport, functional ability in aging, and life skills training during development are discussed. “Gross-motor cognitive training” is proposed as a key concept with relevant implications for intervention strategies in childhood and older adulthood.

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Tonya Toole and Judith C. Kretzschmar

The purposes of this review article are to: 1) present empirical studies which have compared the development of motor skills for boys and girls in the early childhood years, 2) present studies which have made gender comparisons for similar and related motor skills for older adults, and 3) make comparisons between the younger and older age group literature in terms of gender and causal factors contributing to gender differences. It was concluded that: 1) young boys and older men are superior to young girls and older women in power-dependent skills. Biological and environmental factors were discussed as they relate to gender differences in one power-dependent skill, throwing, throughout the life-span, and 2) young girls excel at hopping, skipping, hand-eye coordination, limb and body control, and balance tasks compared to young boys. Of these tasks, balance and hand-eye coordination are the only skills which are typically measured for young children and older adults. For balance in older age, the results are equivocal but suggestions were made for understanding why women may have lost their performance advantage in older adulthood. For hand-eye coordination, women are not clearly better than men as they were in youth. Reasons for life-span changes are suggested.

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Rachel Cholerton, Jeff Breckon, Joanne Butt and Helen Quirk

within older adulthood can contribute toward a higher risk of all-cause mortality ( Rezende, Rey-López, Matsudo, & do Carmo Luiz, 2014 ) and decreased levels of mental health ( Gomes et al., 2017 ). In the United Kingdom, more people are reaching older adulthood, with those reaching 65 years and older

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Kim Gammage, Rachel Arnold, Lori Dithurbide, Alison Ede, Karl Erickson, Blair Evans, Larkin Lamarche, Sean Locke, Eric Martin and Kathleen Wilson

a person based on their actual or perceived age, is a second possible constraint to engaging in a physically active lifestyle in older adulthood. This study explored how older adults who engaged in moderate- to vigorous-intensity leisure-time physical activity perceive aging, if and how such