The effects of a physical and cognitive training intervention vs. physical training alone on older adults’ physical activity : A randomized controlled trial with extended follow-up during COVID-19
Savikangas, T., Törmäkangas, T., Tirkkonen, A., Alen, M., Fielding, R. A., Kivipelto, M., Rantalainen, T., Stigsdotter, N. A., & Sipilä, S. (2021). The effects of a physical and cognitive training intervention vs. physical training alone on older adults’ physical activity : A randomized controlled trial with extended follow-up during COVID-19. PLoS ONE, 16(10), Article e0258559. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0258559
Published inPLoS ONE
© 2021 Savikangas et al.
Background Executive functions underlie self-regulation and are thus important for physical activity and adaptation to new situations. The aim was to investigate, if yearlong physical and cognitive training (PTCT) had greater effects on physical activity among older adults than physical training (PT) alone, and if executive functions predicted physical activity at baseline, after six (6m) and twelve months (12m) of the interventions, one-year post-intervention follow-up and an extended follow-up during COVID-19 lockdown. Methods Data from a single-blinded, parallel-group randomized controlled trial (PASSWORD-study, ISRCTN52388040) were utilized. Participants were 70–85 years old community-dwelling men and women from Jyväskylä, Finland. PT (n = 159) included supervised resistance, walking and balance training, home-exercises and self-administered moderate activity. PTCT (n = 155) included PT and cognitive training targeting executive functions on a computer program. Physical activity was assessed with a one-item, seven-scale question. Executive functions were assessed with color-word Stroop, Trail Making Test (TMT) B-A and Letter Fluency. Changes in physical activity were modeled with multinomial logistic models and the impact of executive functions on physical activity with latent change score models. Results No significant group-by-time interaction was observed for physical activity (p>0.1). The subjects were likely to select an activity category higher than baseline throughout the study (pooled data: B = 0.720–1.614, p<0.001–0.046). Higher baseline Stroop predicted higher physical activity through all subsequent time-points (pooled data: B = 0.011–0.013, p = 0.015–0.030). Higher baseline TMT B–A predicted higher physical activity at 6m (pooled data: B = 0.007, p = 0.006) and during COVID-19 (B = 0.005, p = 0.030). In the PT group, higher baseline Letter Fluency predicted higher physical activity at 12m (B = -0.028, p = 0.030) and follow-up (B = -0.042, p = 0.002). Conclusions Cognitive training did not have additive effects over physical training alone on physical activity, but multicomponent training and higher executive function at baseline may support adaptation to and maintenance of a physically active lifestyle among older adults. ...
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- Liikuntatieteiden tiedekunta 
Related funder(s)Academy of Finland; European Commission
Funding program(s)Academy Project, AoF; Research costs of Academy Research Fellow, AoF; Research post as Academy Research Fellow, AoF; Postdoctoral Researcher, AoF
The content of the publication reflects only the author’s view. The funder is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.
Additional information about fundingThe PASSWORD study was funded by the Academy of Finland Grant no: 296843 to professor Sipilä. SS was also supported by funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement (No 675003). TT worked with an Academy of Finland Postdoctoral Researcher grant (Grant no: 286536) during the conduction of this study. Contribution of RAF to this work was also supported by the Boston Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center (1P30AG031679) and by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, under agreement No. 58-8050-9-004. Any opinions, findings, conclusion, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. MK’s contribution to this work was also supported by the Stiftelse Stocholms Sjukhem; Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, Sweden; Joint Program of Neurodegenerative Disorders–prevention (MIND-AD) grant; Center for Innovative Medicine (CIMED) at Karolinska Institutet, Sweden. TR was an Academy Research Fellow during the preparation of this manuscript (Academy of Finland grant numbers 321336 and 328818). ...
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