Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Thesis Format

Integrated Article

Degree

Master of Arts

Program

Kinesiology

Supervisor

Prapavessis, Harry

Abstract

Physical activity (PA) has been shown to slow down dementia. Unfortunately, older adults spend most of their day in sedentary behaviours (SB). Breaking up prolonged bouts of sitting with intermittent bouts of light intensity PA may reduce glycemic variability in the brain; potentially mitigating cognitive decline. This study investigated how interrupting SB with 10 min bouts of light intensity PA 3x a day would affect mild to moderate cognitive impairment progression (primary outcome) in older adults residing in an assisted living facility. Participants (n=25) were assigned in clusters into a two arm 10-week single site pilot randomized controlled trial. Secondary outcomes included physical function and quality of life. Results showed that the intervention group improved their cognitive scores whereas the control group’s cognitive scores deteriorated. Similar findings were shown for the secondary measures. Reducing SB can improve cognitive and physical function along with quality of life in older adults.

Summary for Lay Audience

Physical activity (PA) has been shown to slow down dementia. Unfortunately, older adults spend most of their day sitting. Breaking up long bouts of sitting with short bouts of light intensity PA (i.e walking) may reduce the amount of spikes and drops of glucose in the brain; potentially slowing down cognitive decline. The primary purpose of this study was to investigate how interrupting sitting with 10 min bouts of light intensity PA 3x a day would affect the progression of cognitive decline in older adults residing in an assisted living facility. Participants (n=25) were assigned based on where they lived in the facility into one of two groups (intervention or controls) for a 10-week pilot randomized controlled trial. Secondary outcomes included physical function and quality of life. Results showed that the intervention group improved their cognitive scores whereas the control group’s cognitive scores continued to get worse. Similar findings were shown for the physical function and quality of life measures. Overall, we can conclude that reducing the amount of time spent sitting can improve cognitive and physical function along with quality of life in older adults.

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Thesis Change Report

Available for download on Saturday, July 24, 2021

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