Associations of physical activity with driving-related cognitive abilities in older drivers: an exploratory study.
ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to examine the associations between hysical activity and driving-related cognitive abilities of older drivers. Thirty-eight female and male drivers ages 61 to 81 years (M = 70.2, SD = 5.0) responded to the International Physical Activity Questionnaire and were assessed on a battery of neuropsychological tests, which included measures of visual attention, executive functioning, mental status, visuospatial ability, and memory. A higher amount of reported physical activity was significantly correlated with better scores on tests of visual processing speed and divided visual attention. Higher amounts of physical activity was significantly associated with a better composite score for visual attention, but its correlation with the composite score for executive functioning was not significant. These findings support the hypothesis that pzhysical activity is associated with preservation of specific driving-related cognitive abilities of older adults.
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ABSTRACT: In a population unselected for aerobic fitness status, aerobic fitness (VO2max) and its interaction with age were used to predict performance on several cognitive measures known to be affected by chronological age. It was hypothesized that, in particular, cognitively demanding tasks would be sensitive to aerobic capacity. Healthy subjects between 24 and 76 yr of age (N = 132) were recruited from a larger study into determinants of cognitive aging (Maastricht Aging Study-MAAS). All participants took part in a submaximal bicycle ergometer protocol and an extensive neurocognitive examination, including tests of intelligence, verbal memory, and simple and complex cognitive speed. Participants engaged more hours a week in aerobic sports and felt healthier than the nonparticipants of the same age did. No group differences were found in the basic anthropometric characteristics height, weight, and BMI. Two of four subtasks that reflect complex cognitive speed (Stroop color/word interference and Concept Shifting Test) showed main and interaction effects with age of aerobic capacity in a hierarchical regression analysis, accounting for up to 5% of variance in parameter score after correction for age, sex, and intelligence main effects. These findings fit well within a moderator model of aerobic fitness in cognitive aging. They add to the notion that aerobic fitness may selectively and age-dependently act on cognitive processes, in particular those that require relatively large attentional resources.Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 11/1997; 29(10):1357-65. · 4.46 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This study was conducted to examine possible associations between physical activity and visual attention in community-dwelling older adults. Older adults (age 65-95) completed the Useful Field of View (UFOV (R)) test of visual attention, and they also reported current physical activity levels using the Exercise Participation Questionnaire (EPQ) and the Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly (PASE). UFOV (R) performance was significantly correlated with both measures of physical activity, but some of these effects overlapped with the effects of age. The 21 participants (15%) who reported regular participation on the EPQ were found to have significantly better UFOV (R) scores than the more inactive participants both before and after controlling for age, gender, and visual acuity. The preservation of visual attention skills across the life span may be more highly correlated with regular participation in exercise training activities than it is with more general occupational and leisure-related physical activity.Journal of Aging and Health 09/2003; 15(3):534-47. · 1.56 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The main aim of this research was to study the effects of a specific exercise program on the speed of behavior of older adults during on-the-road driving. Twenty-six drivers (55-78 yr old) were randomly assigned to either an exercise group or a control group. The exercise program (3 sessions of 60 min/wk for 8 wk) incorporated tasks that induced the participants to respond quickly to challenging situations. On-the-road driving tasks (under single- and dual-task conditions) included measures of simple and choice reaction time, movement time, and response time. Significant positive effects were found at follow-up resulting from participation in the exercise program: Improvements were found for several measures in all driving tasks, and a composite score reflected a better general drivers' speed of behavior. These results show that exercise can enhance speed of behavior in older drivers and should therefore be promoted.Journal of aging and physical activity 01/2011; 19(1):48-61. · 1.41 Impact Factor