Walking studies show that older people are finding ways to actively tackle the COVID blockade

Dr. Ruth Berkeley’s walking workshop included the use of Nordic walking poles and other practical and informative topics.Credit: University of Manitoba

Many older people in Canada do not walk outdoors on a regular basis, despite limited activities that affect mobility, social isolation, and other quality of life factors. In 2021, a year after the COVID-19 pandemic, the risk can be even higher than normal.

In 2020, Dr. Ruth Berkeley, Associate Professor of Physical Therapy in the Faculty of Rehabilitation Sciences, Professor of Lady Health Sciences, and Professor of Physical Therapy at the University of Toronto, Nancy Salbach, are nearing the end of their two-year study. I did. When the pandemic struck Canada, we looked at ways to improve outdoor walking in the elderly.

Participants in this study, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, were randomly assigned to a walking workshop and a 10-week outdoor walking program, or a walking workshop and a 10-week telephone reminder. Follow-up assessments were conducted at 3, 6, and 12 months. During the 6-month and 12-month evaluations by a second group of participants, many had their walking routine interrupted by a pandemic.

This led to an unexpected sub-study, Berkeley said. “We were able to modify the project and also ask people about their experience of walking and physical activity during COVID. How physical activity during the blockade and after lockdown compared to before the pandemic. I wanted to know if I had experienced it. ”

Some participants were unable to continue walking or other physical activity and noticed adverse effects such as weight gain, shortness of breath, and weakness.

“It was a real sense of loss for people,” Berkeley said.

The final assessment of the survey was conducted in July 2020, at which time many participants were physically active through online exercise videos, using masks, or walking outside during less hours. I was taking a small step to increase the number of people. Outside walking traffic.

“Some participants said they still walk with their friends, but at a distance and with their masks on,” she said. “The weather is getting better again, and I think it will be the same this year, depending on the change in restrictions.”

The Berkeley and Salbach study was conducted over a two-year period at four universities: UM, the University of Toronto, McGill University, and the University of Alberta. He said it was difficult. Or environmental barriers. Some individual barriers include imbalances and reduced motivation, and environmental barriers include the distance required to walk to the destination, the time and speed required to walk at an intersection. Was there.

The walking workshop was led by a team of faculty members, graduate students, physiotherapists, and research assistants at each site. In a small group, participants participated in eight activity sessions in a five-hour workshop. The station was practical and informative and included topics such as exercise intensity monitoring, walking on Nordic walking poles, and proper use of pedometers.

The project included five other sub-studies by faculty members and graduate students from participating universities. According to Berkeley, one of the key sub-studies was a study of cadence thresholds (steps per minute) led by Dr. Sandra Webber, an associate professor of physiotherapy in the Faculty of Rehabilitation Sciences.

In this sub-study, accelerometers and GPS systems were used to determine when people engaged in relatively continuous or intentional gait.

“If most episodes of adult gait last less than 30-60 seconds and involve less than 40 consecutive steps, step count data can be difficult to understand,” Webber said. “Then, we were able to use this technique to identify sustained, deliberate gait that occurred in participants’ daily lives.”

“We hope that in the future, other researchers will be able to use that kind of analysis,” Berkeley added.

Keep pace: Walking with your partner is great, but it may slow you down

Provided by University of Manitoba

Quote: Walking study, COVID lockdown obtained on May 4, 2021 from (May 4, 2021) Shows the elderly who are finding a way to work in the day)

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Walking studies show that older people are finding ways to actively tackle the COVID blockade

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