We investigated the physical characteristics of older adults with suspected locomotive syndrome (LS). Subjects were 378 community-dwelling older adults (73.6 ± 5.3 years; women, 53.2%). To measure their physical function, we used tests of grip strength, one-leg balance with eyes open, 5-time sit-to-stand, timed up and go, and 5-m habitual walk. We used the “loco-check”, a 7-item questionnaire, to measure LS. Two grouping methods were used. In comparing non-LS (n = 204) and LS groups (n = 174), dependent t-test and analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) were used. One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and ANCOVA were conducted to compare non-corresponding, one-item corresponding (n = 105) and two-items-or-more corresponding groups (n = 69). Age, body mass index, and dummy variables of medical history of osteoporosis, back pain, hip pain, and knee pain were entered as ANCOVA covariates. The LS group showed significantly poorer physical function according to the dependent t-test, and this poorer function remained significant for the one-leg balance with eyes open performance in both genders and grip strength in men in the ANCOVA (P < 0.05). In the three group comparison, ANOVA revealed significant differences on all variables; one-leg balance with eyes open performance in both genders and 5-m habitual walk in men remained significant in the ANCOVA (P < 0.05). These results suggest that static balance is a main factor contributing to LS based on the loco-check. Additionally, older adults who corresponded to two or more items on the loco-check are likely to have poorer walking ability.
Physical fitness of elementary school children has reportedly decreased over the past few years, physical fitness of present-day children who exercise regularly may not necessarily be inferior to that of the children in the past. This study aimed to examine the secular trend and sex differences in physique, muscular strength, and flexibility in 9–10-year-old children who took part in swimming practice and training at a swimming sport club. The participants were divided into the past group (1996–1998) comprising 601 persons (boy: n = 251, girl: n = 350) and the modern group (2010–2012) comprising 456 persons (boy: n = 201, girl: n = 255). In conclusion, the physique of elementary school children regularly attending the swimming sport club did not show marked time period and sex differences. Muscular strength was superior in the present-day children and ankle mobility was superior in the past children. In addition, marked sex differences in muscle strength and flexibility, except for trunk flexion, were not found in both periods.
The purpose of this study is to examine the correlation between cognitive and physical fitness in preschool children. A choice reaction time test (even condition, winning condition) and a physical fitness test were conducted on 156 healthy preschool children aged 4 to 6 years old (75 boys, 81 girls). Choice reaction times were measured using a specialized “Paper, Rock, and Scissors” device (an original model manufactured by Takei Scientific Instruments Co., Ltd.) which can record the duration of time it takes (to one hundredth of a second) from the time a picture of a hand gesture representing either paper, rock, or scissors is displayed on a monitor to the moment when a preschool child reacts to the picture by pressing the button in front of him or her. Five trials were conducted for each of the three conditions: even and winning. Excluding both maximum and minimum values, the average time recorded for the remaining three trials were used as evaluation parameters. physical fitness test (grip strength, standing long jump, softball throwing, 25m run, side-stepping, timed dipping, sit and reach) were conducted once. T-scores were calculated from each test, and used as evaluation parameters. A significant correlation between each choice reaction time test and physical fitness test were found (boys; even condition: r = -0.30, winning condition: r = -0.35, girls; even condition: r = -0.31, winning condition: r = -0.31, p < 0.05).
These results suggest that cognitive and physical fitness are weak related.
This study investigated the psychological and social effects of health promotion volunteer training. Participants were 37 community-dwelling middle-aged and older adults. They were categorized into two groups: 18 who underwent training (participating group) and 19 who did not (non-participating group). Five two-hour volunteer training sessions (one-hour theory and one-hour practical skills) were held. Topics covered in the theory sessions included “advantages and disadvantages of exercise" and “adherence to exercise"; practical skills sessions covered topics such as “exercise methods" and “communication methods." To examine the psychological and social effects of the training program, the questionnaires were distributed to participants before and after the training, about their “motivations for community participation," “life satisfaction," and “sense of self-efficacy." The attendance rate of the training program was 92.3%. The results of the questionnaires showed improvements on the self-efficacy scale (F(1, 34) = 4.21, P < 0.05). This may be because participants learned only how to improve their credentials as volunteers at this stage of training, producing only minor psychological effects. In the future, more significant psychological and social effects of the training will probably be seen once the trained participants start volunteering in communities.