Obesity causes lifestyle diseases that increase one’s mortality risk. Studies have demonstrated that plasma amino acid concentrations may be useful for screening several lifestyle-related diseases. This study aimed to investigate the effects of weight loss using dietary modification and aerobic exercise training on plasma amino acid concentrations in overweight and obese men. Thirty-two overweight or obese men (age, 49 ± 2 years; body mass index, 29.2 ± 0.3 kg/m2) completed a 12-week intervention consisting of dietary modification (group lectures and individual counseling 8 times over 12 weeks; 1680 kcal/day) and aerobic exercise training (90 min/day, 3 times weekly, 60–80% maximum heart rate). Before and after 12 weeks, body mass index, energy intake, physical activity, and plasma concentrations for 39 kinds of amino acids were measured. The 12-week lifestyle modification led to successful weight loss (-12.6 kg). Total energy intake significantly decreased, while peak oxygen uptake, physical activity and step count significantly increased after the 12-week lifestyle modification. Plasma concentrations for 6 kinds of amino acids were significantly increased, while those for 9 kinds of amino acids were significantly decreased after the 12-week lifestyle modification. Our findings suggest that the lifestyle intervention consisting of dietary modification and aerobic exercise training significantly changes plasma concentrations of several kinds of amino acids in overweight and obese men.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the characteristics of musculoskeletal findings in elementary and junior high school children using 1-year prospective longitudinal data from a long-term survey. Data from 1209 (97.6%) of 1239 children were analyzed. The main results were as follows: “Limitation of standing forward flexion” was particularly frequent in the 4th grade in all children and in the 5th grade in boys and girls going on to the next grade. “Flat foot” was particularly frequent in boys in the 1st, 6th, and 8th grades going on to the next grade. In girls, the frequency of “flat foot” was particularly high in the 1st, 4th, and 8th grades going on to the next grade. Findings of scoliosis appeared more often in girls than in boys. Minor findings such as “asymmetrical height of the shoulder and scapula”, first appearing in the 4th and 5th grades, may be linked to the increase in “Rib hump” in the stage entering junior high school; it is important to pay attention to such changes in the scoliosis findings. This 1-year prospective longitudinal analysis demonstrated that the frequency of some musculoskeletal findings was high. We suggest that an extended longitudinal study will contribute to a better understanding of the relationship between the appearance of musculoskeletal findings and growth and development in school children. Accordingly, further analysis of the various stages of growth and development are needed.
Gait asymmetry is a problem in patients with lower extremity osteoarthritis because a larger load on one leg is associated with the risk of future arthritic deterioration in that leg. Therefore, amelioration of gait asymmetry is desirable for such patients. The present study aimed to investigate whether gait asymmetry is reduced during Nordic walking (NW) in patients with lower extremity osteoarthritis. Sixteen patients wore inertial sensors and performed a 15-m walk test with and without poles. Step symmetry and stride regularity were calculated using an autocorrelation sequence of trunk acceleration to evaluate gait symmetry and regularity, respectively. Maximal isometric knee extension strength was measured in both legs, and leg strength asymmetry was determined. NW improved step symmetry in the anterior-posterior (P = 0.005) and vertical (P = 0.015) directions. Patients were divided into two groups based on leg strength asymmetry. In patients with larger leg strength asymmetry, step symmetry was lower in the anterior-posterior and vertical directions during walking without poles (P = 0.005, P = 0.002, respectively). This was improved during NW (P = 0.005, P = 0.015, respectively). In patients with smaller leg strength asymmetry, there were no significant improvements in step symmetry or stride regularity during NW. These results suggest that NW improves gait asymmetry and can be an effective approach to prevent arthritic deterioration, especially in patients with large leg strength asymmetry.
The health-related physical fitness status of habitual exercisers with different exercise types has not been adequately described previously. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the various benefits in health-related physical fitness associated with participation in various exercises. The study was a cross-sectional study on 164 Japanese adult males (age: 45–80 years), who were classified into seven groups according to their most frequently practiced exercise: non-exercisers (n = 48), walking (n = 38), jogging (n = 23), rhythm calisthenics (n = 13), bowling (n = 20), tennis (n = 13), and cycling (n = 9). Anthropometric and health-related physical fitness data were measured, and exercise habit was investigated using a questionnaire survey. Physical fitness age (PFA) was estimated in all study participants. Compared to 48 non-exercisers, joggers obviously had superior cardiorespiratory endurance (maximal oxygen uptake: 45.5 ± 1.1 mL/kg/min). Tennis players showed better flexibility (trunk flexion: 6.8 ± 2.5 cm), agility (side-to-side stepping: 39.8 ± 1.6 reps), balance (one-legged stand with eyes closed: 24.9 ± 3.3 s), and lower-limb strength (vertical jump: 38.9 ± 1.6 cm). The difference between chronological age and PFA was approximately 13 years in joggers, 10 years in tennis players, and 5 years in rhythm calisthenics practitioners, all of which were significantly better when compared to the difference in non-exercisers. Various exercises appeared to confer different advantages on health-related physical fitness status. Exercise type with different skills was considered as a factor to maintain or promote physical fitness for habitual exercisers, especially older individuals.
Anaerobic threshold (AT) is an established parameter of aerobic fitness. The incremental sit-to-stand exercise (ISTS), using one of the activities of daily living, is used to assess physical capacity in patients who are unable to safely pedal or walk. However, the effect of an alternative ISTS protocol on AT remains unclear. The aim of this study was to compare the effect of the original ISTS protocol with an alternative shortened ISTS protocol on AT values in healthy young adults, and to assess the difference in AT values obtained during the ISTS protocols and the cycle ergometer test. Twelve healthy young adults (mean [range] age: 26.8 [22–33] years, 6 men and 6 women) performed the shortened version of the ISTS (S-ISTS), the original version of ISTS (O-ISTS), and cycle ergometer (CE) tests in a randomized order. The AT values of participants were measured during each of the three tests. No significant difference in AT values was observed among the three tests. AT obtained by individuals in the S-ISTS was significantly correlated with that obtained during the O-ISTS and CE tests with r values of 0.96 and 0.81, respectively (p < 0.05). Similar to the O-ISTS and CE test, the S-ISTS test may be used as an exercise test for the assessment of AT in a clinical setting.
A recent trend in Japan is the increasing number of older patients with diabetes. Treatment for diabetes mellitus in older patients involves a wide variety of strategies, not only for better glycemic control, but also for the prevention and improvement of locomotive syndrome, sarcopenia, and frailty. Previous studies have shown that tele-guidance treatment interventions are effective for weight loss and increase in physical activity, but their effects on locomotive syndrome, sarcopenia, and glycemic control have not been examined. The objective of this study is to assess the efficacy of tele-guidance for intensive therapeutic interventions for diabetes mellitus in older patients, carried out by a qualified physical therapist with diabetes-specific qualifications and knowledge. This multi-center study, including 6 hospitals in Japan, is a prospective, parallel-group, single-blinded, randomized controlled trial. A total of 78 patients will be registered based on our preliminary studies. Patients aged 65–89 years with type 2 diabetes mellitus will be assigned randomly to intensive intervention and control groups. The effectiveness of 6 months of intervention will be verified by a physical therapist. The primary outcome measure will be the change in isometric knee extension force (KEF), whereas the secondary outcomes will be changes in skeletal muscle mass, motor function, glycemic control, and satisfaction with the treatment. When prescribing exercise therapy to older patients with diabetes mellitus, the various risks associated with exercise should be taken into consideration. Therefore, this study has been designed to establish the efficacy of intensive physiotherapy programs in older patients with diabetes mellitus. Provided that this study shows the effectiveness of tele-guidance in improving physical function and glycemic control, it can be a new intervention strategy for exercise therapy in older diabetes patients.