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Special Issue "Health Benefits of Physical Activity in Older Adults"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Exercise and Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2021) | Viewed by 11526

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Jose Losa-Reyna
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1 GENUD Toledo Research Group, University of Castilla-La Mancha, 45071 Toledo, Spain;
2 CIBER of Frailty and Healthy Aging (CIBERFES), 28029 Madrid, Spain;
3 Geriatric Department, Hospital Virgen del Valle, 45071 Toledo, Spain
Interests: healthy aging; concurrent training; frailty; functional performance; muscle power
Prof. Dr. Maria Giné-Garriga
E-Mail Website
Assistant Guest Editor
1. Faculty of Psychology, Education and Sport Sciences Blanquerna, Ramon Llull University, Císter 34, 08022 Barcelona, Spain
2. Faculty of Health Sciences Blanquerna, Ramon Llull University, Padilla 326, 08025 Barcelona, Spain
Interests: older adults; health-related interventions; movement behavior; physical activity; sedentary behavior; physical function; participatory health research; co-creation
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Most Western countries are experiencing a worrying ageing of their population that will be further enhanced in the coming years. The most important changes related to quality of life, functional independence, and mortality occurring at a physiological level during the ageing process are a decline in cardiorespitatory capacity and the loss of muscle function, causing diminished muscle power and mass. The level of functional independence of older subjects depends mainly on maintaining an adequate aerobic capacity and muscle power above a certain threshold. Notably, older people tend to avoid physical activity when their aerobic capacity is poor, and are not capable of certain basic activities—such as standing up from a chair—when their muscle power is very low. As their involvement in physical activity decreases, their loss of muscle function acelerates, which further reduces aerobic capacity, leading to a vicious cycle. In addition, it is well known that physical inactivity is a modifiable risk factor for many chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, hypertension, obesity, diabetes mellitus, osteoporosis, depression, cancer, and even mortality. Unfortunately, the prevalence of physical inactivity is, in many countries, higher than that of all other modifiable risk factors. However, regarding physical activity, uncertainty persists with regard to the optimal dose (frequency, duration, and intensity of exercise) and the minimum effective dose to induce health benefits—in particular, the effects of intensity on health status. In sum, the promotion of regular physical activity is among the main non-pharmaceutical actions that should be advocated in older subjects, especially regarding a preventive approach for “a successful ageing”. The submission of papers addressing these topics for this Special Issue is welcomed, especially those combining a high academic standard with a practical focus on providing the optimal physical activity promotion policies and cost-benefit approaches for physical activity prescription in public health.

Dr. Jose Losa-Reyna
Dr. Maria Giné-Garriga
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • physical activity
  • physical fitness
  • older adults
  • exercise
  • healthy aging
  • exercise adherence
  • health promotion

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Article
Wii or Kinect? A Pilot Study of the Exergame Effects on Older Adults’ Physical Fitness and Psychological Perception
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(24), 12939; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182412939 - 08 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 748
Abstract
Exergames are now often implemented among older adults for health purposes. This study aimed to investigate whether playing Kinect and Wii exergames has effects on older adults’ physical fitness and psychological perceptions towards exergames. A total of 23 older participants aged above 60 [...] Read more.
Exergames are now often implemented among older adults for health purposes. This study aimed to investigate whether playing Kinect and Wii exergames has effects on older adults’ physical fitness and psychological perceptions towards exergames. A total of 23 older participants aged above 60 years were recruited and randomly assigned into two groups, in which they played either Kinect or Wii Bowling exergames for three sessions in one week. Physiological and psychological measures were collected including heart rate, blood pressure, shoulder flexibility, as well as perceived benefits and intentions for future use. Findings indicated that exergames are equivalent to light-intensity exercises, and hence pose no or minimal risk to older adults. Older adults had a positive attitude towards exergames and have a strong willingness to engage in exergaming on a regular basis. Although no significant platform difference was identified, observation and qualitative findings suggested that Wii might provide a more intense physical activity than Kinect, while Kinect might obtain a higher perception among older adults than Wii. The study has several practical implications for both health professionals and exergame designers targeting the ageing population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Benefits of Physical Activity in Older Adults)
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Article
Impact of Different Aquatic Exercise Programs on Body Composition, Functional Fitness and Cognitive Function of Non-Institutionalized Elderly Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(17), 8963; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18178963 - 25 Aug 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1711
Abstract
Aquatic physical exercise programs have become progressively more popular among elderly people. Some of the major physical exercise program disadvantages on land are minimized due to the specific properties of the aquatic environment. The purpose of the present randomized controlled study is to [...] Read more.
Aquatic physical exercise programs have become progressively more popular among elderly people. Some of the major physical exercise program disadvantages on land are minimized due to the specific properties of the aquatic environment. The purpose of the present randomized controlled study is to verify the effects of different aquatic physical exercise programs on body composition, functional fitness and cognitive function in non-institutionalized elderly people. For this study, 102 elderly individuals were randomly allocated into four different groups: AerG (n = 25, 71.44 ± 4.84 years); IntG (n = 28, 72.64 ± 5.22 years); ComG (n = 29, 71.90 ± 5.67 years) and CG (n = 20, 73.60 ± 5.25 years). Individuals from the groups AerG, IntG and ComG participated in three different aquatic physical exercise programs for a period of 28 weeks. The CG participants kept to their usual routines. All participants were evaluated for body composition, functional fitness and cognitive function at two time moments, i.e., pre- (M1) and post-intervention (M2). Significant differences for body composition were found between M1 and M2 for FM (p < 0.001), LBM (p < 0.001) and WCir (p < 0.01) in the AerG, for BMI (p < 0.05), FM (p < 0.05), LBM (p < 0.001) and LCir-R (p < 0.05) in the IntG, and for WGT (p < 0.01), FM (p < 0.05), LBM (p < 0.01), LCir-R (p < 0.05) and LCir-L (p < 0.01) in the ComG groups. For functional fitness, differences were found between M1 and M2 for 2m-ST (p < 0.000), 30s-CS (p < 0.000), 30s-AC (p < 0.05), HG-T-R (p < 0.000) and HG-T-L (p < 0.000) in the AerG, for 2m-ST (p < 0.05), BS-R (p < 0.05), 30s-CS (p < 0.000), 30s-AC(p < 0.01), HG-T-R (p < 0.000) and HG-T-L (p < 0.000) in the IntG, and for 30s-CS (p < 0.000), HG-T-R (p < 0.000) and HG-T-L (p < 0.000) in the ComG groups. The present study evidenced the beneficial effects of physical exercise in an aquatic environment on body composition, functional fitness and cognitive function in non-institutionalized elderly adults. The ComG water-based exercise program showed more beneficial effects in the improvement of body composition and cognitive function variables, while the IntG and AerG programs were more effective in the improvement of functional fitness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Benefits of Physical Activity in Older Adults)
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Article
Rating of Perceived Exertion as a Method to Determine Training Loads in Strength Training in Elderly Women: A Randomized Controlled Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(15), 7892; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18157892 - 26 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1257
Abstract
Objective: The aim of this study was to compare the effects of training using loads from a repetition maximum value (%1RM) and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) in elderly women. Methods: Twenty-five elderly women (60–75 years old) were randomly assigned to [...] Read more.
Objective: The aim of this study was to compare the effects of training using loads from a repetition maximum value (%1RM) and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) in elderly women. Methods: Twenty-five elderly women (60–75 years old) were randomly assigned to a group that trained using loads determined by 1RM test (G%; n = 12) or to a group that trained using loads determined by RPE (GPE; n = 13). Elderly women trained for 12 weeks using five exercises performed with 2–3 sets of 8–15 repetitions. Loads progressed from 45% to 75% of 1RM (G%) and from 13 to 18 from Rating Perceived Exertion of Borg Scale (GPE). The outcome measures, 1RM and maximum repetitions (RMs with 70% 1RM), were assessed before, between and after training programs. Results: Increased 1RM value and RMs were observed in both groups (20–42%, p < 0.001 and 56–76%, p < 0.001, respectively, for %G; and 17–56%, p < 0.001 and 47–106%, p < 0.001, respectively, for GPE), without differences between them. Conclusions: Prescribing loads using the RPE and 1RM might be similarly effective for training elderly women in order to promote strength gains. As a practical application, RPE could be an additional method to determine training loads. In spite of the promising results of the present study, it is not possible to state that the use of RPE is effective in monitoring loads during sub maximal strength training in elderly and more research must be carried out to confirm it. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Benefits of Physical Activity in Older Adults)
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Article
Community-Based Exercise and Lifestyle Program Improves Health Outcomes in Older Adults with Type 2 Diabetes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(11), 6147; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18116147 - 07 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3618
Abstract
Background: The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of Beat It—a community-based exercise and lifestyle intervention—in improving anthropometric and physical fitness outcomes in older adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Methods: Australians with T2DM who were aged 60 [...] Read more.
Background: The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of Beat It—a community-based exercise and lifestyle intervention—in improving anthropometric and physical fitness outcomes in older adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Methods: Australians with T2DM who were aged 60 years or older were included. These individuals were enrolled in Beat It, a twice-weekly supervised group exercise and education program conducted over 8 weeks. Anthropometric measurements and physical fitness parameters were assessed at baseline and completion. Physical fitness measures were then compared to validated criterion standards of fitness levels required by older adults to remain physically independent into later life. Results: A total of 588 individuals were included in the study. At baseline, a substantial proportion of the cohort had physical fitness measures that were below the standard for healthy independent living for their gender and age. Significant improvements in waist circumference and physical fitness were observed post program and resulted in an increase in the number of participants who met the standard for healthy independent living. Conclusions: Participation in Beat It improved important health outcomes in older adults with T2DM. A longer-term follow-up is needed to determine whether these positive changes were maintained beyond the delivery of the program. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Benefits of Physical Activity in Older Adults)
Article
How Do Decision Makers and Service Providers Experience Participatory Approaches to Developing and Implementing Physical Activity Interventions with Older Adults? A Thematic Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(4), 2172; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18042172 - 23 Feb 2021
Viewed by 1139
Abstract
Background: Physical activity has numerous health and well-being benefits for older adults, but many older adults are inactive. Interventions designed to increase physical activity in older adults have typically only produced small effects and have not achieved long-term changes. There is increasing interest [...] Read more.
Background: Physical activity has numerous health and well-being benefits for older adults, but many older adults are inactive. Interventions designed to increase physical activity in older adults have typically only produced small effects and have not achieved long-term changes. There is increasing interest in participatory approaches to promoting physical activity, such as co-production, co-design and place-based approaches, but they have typically involved researchers as participants. This study aimed to understand the experiences of decision-makers and service developers with the introduction of such participatory approaches when developing new physical activity programmes outside of a research setting. Methods: Semi-structured, qualitative interviews were conducted with 20 individuals who were involved in commissioning or developing the Greater Manchester Active Ageing Programme. This programme involved funding eight local authorities within Greater Manchester, England, to produce physical activity projects for older adults, involving participatory approaches. An inductive thematic analysis was conducted, structured using the Framework approach. Results: Interviewees identified important benefits of the participatory approaches. The increased involvement of older adults led to older adults contributing valuable ideas, becoming involved in and taking ownership of projects. Interviewees identified the need to move away from traditional emphases on increasing physical activity to improve health, towards focussing on social and fun elements. The accessibility of the session location and information was considered important. Challenges were also identified. In particular, it was recognised that the new approaches require significant time investment to do well, as trusting relationships with older adults and partner organisations need to be developed. Ensuring the sustainability of projects in the context of short-term funding cycles was a concern. Conclusions: Incorporating participatory approaches was perceived to yield important benefits. Interviewees highlighted that to ensure success, sufficient time needs to be provided to develop good working relationships with older adults and partner organisations. They also emphasised that sufficient funding to ensure adequate staffing and the sustainability of projects is required to allow benefits to be gained. Importantly, the implementation of these approaches appears feasible across a range of local authorities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Benefits of Physical Activity in Older Adults)

Other

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Systematic Review
Effects of Olympic Combat Sports on Older Adults’ Health Status: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(14), 7381; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18147381 - 10 Jul 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1803
Abstract
The aim of this systematic review was to analyse the studies centered on the effects of Olympic combat sports (OCS [i.e., boxing, fencing, judo, karate, taekwondo, wrestling]) on older adults’ physical-functional, physiological, and psychoemotional health status. The review comprised randomised-controlled trials with OCS [...] Read more.
The aim of this systematic review was to analyse the studies centered on the effects of Olympic combat sports (OCS [i.e., boxing, fencing, judo, karate, taekwondo, wrestling]) on older adults’ physical-functional, physiological, and psychoemotional health status. The review comprised randomised-controlled trials with OCS interventions, including older adults (≥60 years), and measures of physical-functional, physiological, and/or psychoemotional health. The studies were searched through SCOPUS, PubMed/MEDLINE, Web of Science, PsycINFO, and EBSCO databases until 5 January 2021. The PRISMA-P and TESTEX scales were used to assess the quality of the selected studies. The protocol was registered in PROSPERO (code: CRD42020204034). Twelve OCS intervention studies were found (scored ≥ 60% for methodological quality), comprising 392 females and 343 males (mean age: 69.6 years), participating in boxing, judo, karate, and taekwondo. The qualitative analysis revealed that compared to controls, OCS training improved muscle strength, cardiorespiratory capacity, agility, balance, movement, attention, memory, mental health, anxiety, and stress tolerance. Meta-analysis was available only for the chair stand test, and an improvement was noted after OCS training compared to control. In conclusion, OCS interventions improves older adults’ physical-functional, physiological, and psychoemotional health. Our systematic review confirms that OCS training has high adherence (greater than 80%) in older adults. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Benefits of Physical Activity in Older Adults)
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