Physical Activity for Older Adults

For January 8, 2020                Please share this with your friends
Hi WN@TL Fans,
This time last week my family and I were driving from Jerusalem to the southwestern shore of the Dead Sea. At the turnoff for the Road to Zohar, at about 1100 feet below sea level, we parked the car and scrambled up a high hill of sand and scree to get a breath-taking vista of the bottom of the world.
While the view was breath-taking, the climb was not: a small miracle, I felt no shortness of breath.
I was astonished:  apparently the higher oxygen at the low altitude shaved 20 physiological years off my age.
It was a reminder that some of the gifts we take for granted in our prime we may lose over time:  vigorous lungs, easy gait, powerful stride, fine balance.
So besides visiting places below sea level, what can we do as we age to slow the slide in our ability to walk, to climb, to sit down, to stand up?
This week (January 8) Prof Kristen Pickett of Kinesiology will share her research on  improving the everyday lives of older adults through the implementation of physical activity interventions—delivered in-home via telehealth and through group classes held at community-based facilities.
Here’s how she describes her talk, entitled “Meeting Wisconsinites with Parkinson Where They Are”:
“Remaining active and meaningfully engaged is one of the keys to healthy aging. Dr. Pickett will discuss some of the ongoing efforts in the SMIL lab to examine the implementation, reach and effectiveness of some non-traditional approaches to community engagement.
“The long-term goal of this work is to improve health outcomes for underserved populations of older adults especially individuals with Parkinson disease (PD) by providing access to approachable and meaningful activity. As part of the focus of this work is making research accessible to those without easy access to the UW, Dr. Pickett will preview a portion of her mobile research lab, including the Gait Mat (pictured below).”
About the Speaker:

Kristen Pickett has been an Assistant Professor in the Occupational Therapy Program in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Wisconsin – Madison since 2014. Her Sensory Motor Integration Lab (SMIL) is focused on the use of collaborative and community-based research methods aimed at positively impacting meaningful health outcomes for older adults, especially those with Parkinson disease, who have limited access to effective forms of physical activity.


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Next week (January 15) Kevin Walters returns to WN@TL to provide the latest in his continuing research into the formative years of WARF and the early experiences with patents, licensing & royalties at the University of Wisconsin.

Hope to see you this week at Wednesday Nite @ The Lab!
Tom Zinnen
Biotechnology Center & Division of Extension


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