BBfB


In Memory of Micah Wong

21 December 1994 - 22 March 2019

If you would like to share a memory or image of Micah, please leave a comment below, or send it to us and we will add it to this post. 

Micah Wong was part of our BB4B community, an Instructor who volunteered his time generously for three seasons. 

I had the joy of being in his orbit – what a sparkling one! I was anticipating seeing him and other BB4B volunteers (I think of them as my “kids”) as physical therapy students and partnering with him as one of his instructors in his PT program. 

We shared the sadness of not getting into school on our first try, and so I was especially excited and so proud when he — trying to contain his bursting joy and doing a terrible job of it! –announced that he had finally been accepted to the program. 

At his funeral on March 30th of this year, people of all kinds, all ages, from all aspects of his life were there by the hundreds to honor him. He has had an enormous impact on the world, already. 

We are creating this space to honor him. We knew him as JOY, EXUBERANCE, MISCHIEF, EXACTING and EXCELLENT, HELPFUL, KIND, THOUGHTFUL and more. Here are our thoughts and images.  

Here is my promise to live fully, with joy and kindness, with excellence and respect, in his honor. 

-Susan Frikken

 

Although I only knew Micah for under a year, it felt like we knew each other forever. He had such a special talent in making everybody around him feel loved, cared about, and always made the effort to cherish his friendships. He was so passionate about BB4B and the physical therapy profession, and his bubbly personality and positive attitude were always such a fun addition to BB4B classes. His positivity, goofiness, compassion, dedication, and outgoing nature is greatly missed at not only BB4B, but in my everyday life. Although he left too soon, I feel very lucky to have known him. I miss you, Micah.

-Natalie

This is the letter that Susan wrote in support of Micah’s application to the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at UW-Madison. 

Micah Letter of Recommendation 

“I do recall…a beautiful face and smile and I’m sure he was just as beautiful, if not more so, on the inside.” – BB4B participant

“…just seeing him with the students, he had such a pure, calming presence – a smile that put people’s heart at ease and a gentle touch on the back of a participant that conveyed such care.  In the way he moved with people, there was an unhurried attitude, a look in the eye to the person he was with, and a laugh.  He had such an evident gift of presence and attunement to others, he showed humility and kindness, simply by being it.”

– BB4B Instructor


The Association Between Timed Up and Go Test and History of Falls: The Tromsø Study

Gyrd Thrane, Ragnar M Joakimsen and Eline Thornquist

Summary:

A relationship between TUG time and history of falls in men but not in women was determined. However, the clinical relevance of this associated is limited due to the relatively small statistical significance found between the results male fallers and non-fallers as well as the inconsistent results of falls questionnaires. The conclusion of the research was the TUG may not be used as a test of fall risk in an ambulatory elderly population.

Year study was published: 2018

Mean age of participants in study: 74-89 years

Click here to read the full article

 


Otago Exercise Program in the United States: Comparison of 2 Implementation Models

Tiffany E. Shubert, Matthew L. Smith, Lavina Goto, Luohua Jiang, Marcia G. Ory

Summary:

Otago Exercise Program (OEP) is a fall prevention program that consists of 5 warm-up exercises and 17 strength and balance exercises, which are progressed over the course of the program. This program can be administered by a PT or other healthcare professional in a home health or outpatient setting (US OEP) or in a community based setting (community OEP). This study reports significant improvements in physical and self-reported measures in both US and community OEP. There were no significant differences in improvements of outcomes measures (TUG, 30-second chair rise test, and four-stage balance test) between community and US OEP; therefore, the less costly community OEP can achieve results similar to those achieved with US OEP – especially with Timed “Up & Go” as concluded by this study.

Year study was published: 2017

Mean age of participants in study: 80 years old

Click here to read the full article

 

Balance Confidence and Fear of Falling Avoidance Behavior Are Most Predictive of Falling in Older Adults: Prospective Analysis

Merrill R. Landers, Sarrie Oscar, Jessica Sasaoka, Kyle Vaughn

Summary:

Physical-based measures (Berg Balance Scale, Sensory Organization Test, Timed “Up & Go”, and Dynamic Gait Index) as well as psychological-based measures (Falls Efficacy Scale, Activity Specific Balance Confidence Scale, and Fear of Falling Avoidance Behavior Questionnaire) were assessed during this study to determine which variable(s) were most predictive of falls in older adults. The results of this study concluded that balance confidence was the best predictor of falling, followed by fear of falling avoidance behavior, and the Time “Up & Go” (TUG). Fall history, presence of pathology, and physical tests did not predict falling. The study also concluded that psychological factors (balance confidence and fear avoidance) were stronger predictors of future falls than physical factors (gait, balance, visual acuity, etc.)

Year study was published: 2018

Mean age of participants in study: 72.2 years

Click here to read the full article

 


The Effectiveness of Dance Interventions to Improve Older Adults’ Health: A Systematic Literature Review

Phoebe Woei-Ni Hwang, MS; Kathryn L. Braun, DrPH

Summary:

Physical inactivity is common in individuals over the age of 60. This systemic review was looking at the benefits of physical health using dance. The compiled results of 18 studies suggest dance, regardless of style (ballroom, jazz, contemporary, cultural, pop) can significantly improve muscular strength and endurance, balance, flexibility, and other aspects of functional fitness in older adults. These results show dance as a promising method for improving older adults’ physical health as it might address the barriers associated with older adults being physically active.

Year study was published: 2015

Mean age of participants in study: 76 years

Click here to read the full article

 


Effects of a Salsa Dance Training on Balance and Strength Performance in Older Adults

Urs Granacher, Thomas Muehlbauer, Stephanie A. Bridenbaugh, Madeleine Wolf, Ralf Roth, Yves Gschwind, Irene Wolf, Rui Mata, Reto W. Kressig

Summary:

In this 8 week of progressive salsa dancing, researchers investigated the effects of salsa dancing on measures of static/dynamic postural control and leg extensor power in older adults. The researchers concluded this was a safe and feasible exercise program for older adults and there was a significant increase in stride velocity in the salsa group as compared to the control group; however, there were no significant changes in gait variability and muscle power of leg extensors. This was the first study that has investigated the impact of salsa dancing no intrinsic fall-risk factors (stride velocity and leg extensor power) in older adults.

Year study was published: 2012

Mean age of participants in study: 71.6 years

Click here to read the full article

 


Effects of Dance on Movement Control in Parkinson’s Disease: A Comparison of Argentine Tango and American Ballroom

Madeleine E. Hackney, BFA1 and Gammon M. Earhart, PhD, PT

Summary:

American smooth waltz and foxtrot as well as Argentine tango lead to significant benefits with respect to balance, motor ability, and locomotion in patients with idiopathic Parkinson’s Disease who took part in 20 hours of partnered dance instruction. These improvements were correlated to the use of external cues (music or use of partner) as well as specific movements incorporated in the particular form of dance. This study concluded that although foxtrot and tango both lead to improvements, tango was slightly more beneficial with TUG and gait (helping with freezing of gait). This was attributed to the strategies taught during tango (visual cues such as tapping partners foot or crossing one foot over the other, rhythmic rocking, backwards walking, etc.).

Year article was published: 2009

Mean age of participants in study: 67 years old

Click here to read the full article

 


Physical Benefits of Dancing for Healthy Older Adults: A Review

Justin W.L. Keogh, Andrew Kilding, Philippa Pidgeon, Linda Ashley, and Dawn Gillis

Summary:

Results of 18 studies in all concluded that dancing can significantly improve power, lower body muscle endurance, strength and flexibility, balance, agility, and gait in older adults. Although it was concluded with a lower level of evidence, it was also suggested that dancing might improve older adults’ lower body bone-mineral density content and muscle power, as well as reduce the prevalence of falls and cardiovascular health risks. There were no conclusions for different results based on type of dance or the difference in effectiveness of dance compared to other exercise modes.

Year study was published: 2009

Mean age of participants in study: 65 years old

Click here to read the full article

 


The Effectiveness of a Community-Based Program for Reducing the Incidence of Falls in the Elderly: A Randomized Trial

Lindy Clemson, BAppSc(OT), MAppSc(OT), PhD, Robert G. Cumming, MBBS, MPH, PhD,zk Hal and Kendig, Kirsty Taylor, MPI, PhD, BA(Psych), Megan Swann, BAppSc(OT),z Robert Heard, BA(Hons), PhD,w

Summary: This 14 month randomized trial concluded Stepping On (a multifaceted community-based program using a small-group learning environment which aims to improve fall self-efficacy, encourage behavioral change, and reduce falls all together) was effective for reducing falls in communityresiding elderly people. This was demonstrated by the Stepping On group experienced a 31% reduction in falls. The Stepping On program was determined to be especially effective for men.

Year study was published: 2004

Mean age of participants in study: 78 years old

Click here to read the full article

 


Factors Contributing to Single- and Dual-Task Timed “Up & Go” Test Performance in Middle-Aged and Older Adults Who Are Active and Dwell in the Community

Hui-Ya Chen, Pei-Fang Tang

H-Y. Chen, PT, PhD, School of Physical Therapy, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung, Tai- wan, and Physical Therapy Room

Summary:

When comparing the factors that contribute to performance on the single- and dual-task (serial subtraction or carrying water) TUG tests in 64 participants the following factors were found to be associated with better performance on all TUG tests (single- and dual-task): younger age, hip extensor weakness, walking speed, general mental function, and Stroop scores for word and color. However, factors contributing to solely to dual-task TUG were influenced by age and focused attention, specifically for carrying water and serial subtraction, respectively. These results suggest the importance of the combined use of the 3 TUG tests.

Year study was published: 2015

Mean age of participants in study: 71.6 years old

Click here to read the full article

 


The Effect of Ballroom Dance on Balance and Functional Autonomy Among the Isolated Elderly

Eliane Gomes da Silva Borges a,b,c,*, Sama ́ria Ali Cader b,c,d, Rodrigo Gomes de Souza Vale b,c, Thales Henrique Pires Cruz b,c, Mauro Cezar de Gurgel de Alencar Carvalho b,c, Francisco Miguel Pinto b,c, Este ́lio H.M. Dantas b,c

Summary:

In this study based out of Brazil, 39/75 individuals from three long-term institutions participated in a 50 min Ballroom Dance Program that incorporated rumba, swing, samba, and bolero and took place 3 times a week. The control group (36/75 individuals) maintained their normal daily activities. These individuals were evaluated using the Latin American Group for Maturity (GDLAM) protocol to assess functional autonomy and the stabiolometer to assess physical balance. The results of this study concluded the ballroom dance program led to an increase in the level of functional autonomy and in physical balance.

Year study was published: 2012

Mean age of participants in study: 77 years old

Click here to read the full article

 


Investigating the Acute Effect of an Aerobic Dance Exercise Program on Neuro-Cognitive Function in the Elderly

Ken Kimura, Noriko Hozumi 

Summary: This study was comparing two types of aerobic dance exercises: a workout that consisted of several patterns of movement vs. a workout consisting of similar patterns of movement, but the patterns were joined to forma long choreographic routine/dance. The results of this study concluded that the executive cognitive network was facilitated in the choreographic routine workout due to the complex motor functions with a dual-task nature used in this workout group. The choreographic routine seems to improve actions that facilitate attentional control and even memory processes.

Year study was published: 2012

Mean age of participants in study: 70.7 years old

Click here to read the full article

 


Therapeutic Dancing for Parkinson’s Disease

Lorenna Pryscia Carvalho Aguiar*, Priscila Alves da Rocha, Meg Morris

Summary:

This systematic review found that therapeutic dancing in general was found to be beneficial for improving motor performance, mobility and balance in people with Parkinson’s Disease. Although this study didn’t find details related to specific forms of dance, they did find and overall short-term improvement in freezing of gait (FOG), walking performance, and wellbeing in some individuals. ‘

Year study was published: 2016

Mean age of participants in study: 66.5 years old

Click here to read full article

 


Effects of Dancing on the Risk of Falling Related Factors of Healthy Older Adults: A Systematic Review

Esther Lopez Fernandez-Arguelles, Juan Rodriguez-Mansilla, Luis Espejo Antunez,  Elisa Maria Garrido-Ardila, Rafael Perez Munoz

Summary:

This article compiled data from 7 articles to determine the therapeutic effects of dancing as a physical exercise modality on balance, flexibility, gait, muscle strength, and physical performance in older adults. These studies did show positive effects on reducing the risk of falls in relation to improved balance, gait and dynamic mobility, strength and flexibility; however, they were unable to confirm that dance has significant benefits on the aforementioned factors based on scientific evidence due to problems with study designs.

Year study was published: 2015

Mean age of participants in study: 72 years old

Click here to read the full article

 


Dancing or Fitness Sport? The Effects of Two Training Programs on Hippocampal Plasticity and Balance Abilities in Healthy Seniors

Kathrin Rehfeld1, Patrick Müller1, Norman Aye, Marlen Schmicker,
Milos Dordevic1, Jörn Kaufmann, Anita Hökelmann and Notger G. Müller

Summary:

Dancing combines aerobic fitness, sensorimotor skills, and cognitive demands while maintaining a low risk of injury. In this study, an 18-month dancing intervention was compared to traditional health fitness training. Researchers were looking for both volume increases in the hippocampus, a region of the brain crucial for memory consolidation, learning and navigation in space, as well as improvements in balance. While both the dancing group and traditional fitness group both showed volume increases in the hippocampus, the dancing group showed increases in more areas of the hippocampus as well as significant increase in the balance score. From these results the researchers concluded dancing seems to be a promising intervention for both improving balance and hippocampal structure in the elderly.

Year study was published: 2017

Mean age of participants in study: 68 years old

Click here to read the full article

 


Evidence-Based Exercise Prescription for Balance and Falls Prevention: A Current Review of the Literature

by Tiffany E. Shubert, MPT, PhD

Summary:

The current best practices for physical therapists to effectively improve balance and manage fall risk in patients are those that incorporate a structured, progressing, individually tailored exercise program that meets the optimal exercise dose. These interventions need to continue even after discharge from physical therapy and therefore a continuum of care approach is needed in order to maintain progress, continue to improve upon their abilities, sustain meaningful and permanent changes in risk factors, and ultimately reduce falls risk.

Year study was published: 2011

Mean age of participants in study: N/A

Click here to read the full article

 


Exercise to Prevent Falls in Older Adults: An Updated Meta-Analysis and Best Practice Recommendations

by Catherine Sherrington, Anne Tiedemann, Nicola Fairhall, Jacqueline C.T. Close and Stephen R. Lord

Summary:

This article compiled data from 54 randomized controlled trials looking at exercise as a single intervention to prevent falls. They concluded that exercise for falls prevention should occur at least 2 hours per week and should be targeted at both the general community as well as those at high risk of falls and may occur in both a group or home-based setting. The exercise programs should include: moderate to high challenges to balance as well as strength training, a sufficient dose of exercise, exercise needs to be ongoing, and should include a brisk walking training, unless they are a high risk falls individual.

Year study was published: 2011

Mean age of participants in study: 65+ years old

Click here to read the full article


Can Social Dancing Prevent Falls in Older Adults? A Protocol of the Dance, Aging, Cognition, Economics (DAnCE) Fall Prevention Randomized Controlled Trial

by Dafna Merom, Robert Cumming, Erin Mathieu, Kaarin J Anstey, Chris Rissel, Judy M Simpson, Rachael L Morton, Ester Cerin, Catherine Sherrington and Stephen R Lord

Summary:

In this Australian study they are determining whether participation in social dancing will: reduce the number of falls and improve cognitive functions associated with fall risk in older people. Participants in the study completed 80 hours of dance classes (either Folk or ballroom dancing) during a 12 month period – classes were an hour long and met twice a week. The researchers concluded dance offers a novel approach to balance training and offers greater social engagement, which is a major contribution to healthy aging.

Year study was published: 2013

Mean age of participants in study: ??

Click here to read the full article


Balance Confidence and Fear of Falling Avoidance Behavior Are Most Predictive of Falling in Older Adults

by Merrill R. Landers, Sarrie Oscar, Jessica Sasoka & Kyle Vaughn

Summary:

Physical-based measures (Berg Balance Scale, Sensory Organization Test, Timed “Up & Go”, and Dynamic Gait Index) as well as psychological-based measures (Falls Efficacy Scale, Activity Specific Balance Confidence Scale, and Fear of Falling Avoidance Behavior Questionnaire) were assessed during this study to determine which variable(s) were most predictive of falls in older adults. The results of this study concluded that balance confidence was the best predictor of falling, followed by fear of falling avoidance behavior, and the Time “Up & Go” (TUG). Fall history, presence of pathology, and physical tests did not predict falling. The study also concluded that psychological factors (balance confidence and fear avoidance) were stronger predictors of future falls than physical factors (gait, balance, visual acuity, etc.)

Year study was published: 2018

Mean age of participants in study: 72.2 years

Click here to read the full article


Ballroom Dance: Linking Serious Leisure to Successful Aging

by Regena G. Stevens-Ratchford

Summary:

This qualitative research design explored stories of ballroom dance participants to gain an understanding of the participants’ experiences and the relation between ballroom dance and successful aging using the Successful Aging Profile (SAP). The mean years of dancing experience was 38 years including engagement in waltz, fox trot, swing, tango, rumba, samba, salsa, and cha-cha. Researchers found that the sample they interviewed all reported positive successful aging including high function and positive well-being. The main aspect of ballroom dance that fosters successful aging is the inclusion of physical activity that these individuals are interested in.

Year study was published: 2016

Mean age of participants in study: 68 years old

Click here to read the full article