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Minimizing sedentary behavior (without increasing medium-to-vigorous exercise) associated functional improvement in older women is somewhat dependent on a measurable increase in muscle size.

Grant, Dale and Tomlinson, David and Tsintzas, Kostas and Kolić, Petra and Onambélé-Pearson, Gladys (2020) Minimizing sedentary behavior (without increasing medium-to-vigorous exercise) associated functional improvement in older women is somewhat dependent on a measurable increase in muscle size. Aging, 12. ISSN 1945-4589

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Abstract

The optimal pattern of sedentarism displacement and mechanisms underlying its health effects are poorly understood. Therefore, the aim of this study was to quantify muscle-tendon adaptation in response to two different sedentarism displacement interventions and relate any adaptations to functional outcomes. Thirty-four older women (73±5yrs) underwent skeletal muscle-tendon size and functional assessments. Participants were randomly allocated to: Sedentary behaviour fragmentation (SBF), Light intensity physical activity (LIPA), or Control groups. Measures were taken at weeks 0 and 8. Gait speed significantly increased (p=0.003), in both experimental groups (SBF: 0.06 ± 0.08m/s, 6±10%, LIPA: 0.06 ± 0.07m/s, 6±6%), but not control (-0.02 ± 0.12m/s, -2±9%). Accordingly, the relative change in Vastus Lateralis muscle volume, accounted for 30% (p=0.027), and 45% (p=0.0006) of the explained variance in the relative change in gait speed, for SBF and LIPA respectively. Gastrocnemius Medialis fascicle length changes were positively associated with gait speed changes, following LIPA exclusively (R<sup>2</sup>= 0.50, p=0.009). This is the first study to show SBF and LIPA are adequate loading in older women, with related muscle adaptation and clinically relevant gait speed improvements. Such adaptations appear similar irrespective of whether sedentarism displacement is prescribed in a single bout (LIPA) or in frequent micro-bouts (SBF).

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