E-26 Free Communication/Poster - Injury and Illness: JUNE 1, 2007 7:30 AM - 12:30 PM ROOM: Hall E
ABSTRACT: ACSM contraindications to exercise testing existed in nearly 20% of mall-walkers in 1993., A decade later nearly the same percent of elderly presented with suspected or known heart disease.
PURPOSE: In a review of previously unreported data from a 1992 investigation on health characteristics in mall-walkers, many elderly mall walkers answered affirmatively to questions on a survey that would have excluded them from the exercise testing or training environment (ACSM Guidelines, 2006) during pre-exercise screening.
METHODS: A questionnaire was completed by 315 mall walkers in nine southeastern malls. A trained interviewer interpreted terminology for the respondents' health history on the questionnaire.
RESULTS: Male and female responses (frequency and %) were reported for changes in the following; ECG, recent myocardial infarction, unstable angina, uncontrolled ventricular dysrhythmias, uncontrolled atrial dysrythmias, 3rd deg A-V block, acute conjestive heart failure, severe aortic stenosis, active or suspected myocarditis or pericarditis, recent systemic pulmonary embolus, acute infection, and significant emotional distress.
CONCLUSIONS: The results of 1991/1992 questionnaire, taken nearly a decade before, are not unlike the CDCs most current (1999) data on suspected heart disease in the elderly (21.3% versus 23% respectively). What makes this information significant is that these people choose to come to the mall to participate in unstructured walking exercise either in addition to (12%), or apart from, traditional cardiac rehabilitation. Some of them (11%) even reported suffering chest pain at the time they were sitting in the mall completing their questionnaires. While self-reported data of this kind is suspect, malls opening their doors for elderly walkers should continue to take appropriate precautions (AHA/ACSM Health/Fitness Facility Preparticipatory Screening Questionnaire; MSSE, 1998) likeAEDs, and recruiting personnel appropriately trained in exercise therapy. This information is being reported to add to the historical literature on self-perceived health history of the elderly participating in unstructured physical activity in the enclosed shopping center.