Do Sedentary Older Adults Benefit From Community-Based Exercise? Results From the Active Start Program

Davis School of Gerontology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0191, USA.
The Gerontologist (Impact Factor: 3.21). 08/2009; 49(6):847-55. DOI: 10.1093/geront/gnp113
Source: PubMed


This study assessed the effectiveness of Active Start, a community-based behavior change and fitness program, designed to promote physical activity among sedentary community-dwelling older adults.
A quasi-experimental design was used. Data were analyzed using a within-group pretest-post-test design to calculate changes in the intervention group and changes in the waitlist comparison group. Further analyses were conducted after the comparison group completed the intervention. Paired t tests were employed to analyze unadjusted mean changes in physical performance measures from pretest to post-test. Repeated measures analysis of covariance (using SAS Proc Mixed) was then conducted to calculate the adjusted mean change for the intervention group.
Significant improvement was found on all performance measures (strength, flexibility, and balance) for the intervention group as a whole. Similar improvements were found among subgroups (Whites, African Americans, and Hispanics). No significant changes were found in the comparison group when they were in the control condition; however, they significantly improved on all measures after completing the intervention.
This study suggests that a community-based physical activity program benefits sedentary, racially, and ethnically diverse older adults by coupling a behavioral change support group and fitness classes.

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    • "Building on this concept, 45% (n = 9) of the interventions used walking groups [28, 29, 35, 36, 38, 39, 42, 44, 45], 30% (n = 6) incorporated group aerobics/dance or structured activities [3, 18, 25, 27, 30, 40]. It was also important to use culturally appropriate activities and materials throughout the interventions, as reported in 45% (n = 9) of the interventions [3, 18, 33, 34, 36–40]. This included the use of bilingual instructors (n = 6) in 30% of the interventions [18, 33–35, 39, 45]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Healthy People 2020 aims to achieve health equity, eliminate disparities, and improve the health of all groups. Regular physical activity (PA) improves overall health and fitness and has the capability to reduce risk for chronic diseases. Identifying barriers which relate to the Hispanic population is important when designing PA interventions. Therefore, the purpose was to review existing PA interventions targeting Hispanic adults published between 1988 and 2011. This paper was limited to interventions which included more than 35% Hispanic adults (n = 20). Most of the interventions were community based (n = 16), although clinical, family-based, and faith-based settings were also represented. Interventions incorporated theory (n = 16), with social cognitive theory and transtheoretical model being used most frequently. Social support was integral, building on the assumption that it is a strong motivator of PA. Each of the interventions reported success related to PA, social support, and/or BMI. Lessons learned should be incorporated into future interventions.
    Journal of Environmental and Public Health 02/2012; 2012(2):156435. DOI:10.1155/2012/156435
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    • "Community intervention studies also indicate that community-based exercise programs can effectively address specific health issues, for example, arthritis (Boutaugh, 2003), falls risk among people with stroke (Au-Yeung, Hui-Chan, & Tang, 2009) or osteoporosis (Li et al., 2008), and increase overall health and well-being (Belza, Shumway-Cook, Phelan, Williams, & Snyder, 2006; Chiang, Seman, Belza, & Tsai, 2008; Frye, Scheinthal, Kemarskaya, & Pruchno, 2007; Hughes, Seymour, Campbell, Whitelaw, & Bazzarre, 2009; Yan, Wilber, Aguirre, & Trejo, 2009). Indeed, a Cochrane review suggests community programs have a higher training effect than home programs, especially for peripheral vascular disease (Ashworth, Chad, Harrison, Reeder, & Marshall, 2005). "
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    ABSTRACT: Regular exercise lowers the risk of disease progression for many chronic illnesses, but older adults experience relatively low rates of exercise. Although multiple intervention studies indicate that community-based programs can facilitate exercise participation, whether this research has resulted in widespread targeted exercise programs within communities is unknown. This study seeks to understand the ecological context of exercise for older adults through a cross-sectional survey of community exercise facilities within a mid-Atlantic city. The findings highlight the limited nature of the existing exercise infrastructure and reveal gaps in the community translation of research evidence regarding exercise adherence. An expansion in the availability of community exercise programs for older adults and more uniform policies to support older adult exercise are needed.
    Journal of Applied Gerontology 02/2012; 31(1):28-51. DOI:10.1177/0733464810385814 · 0.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: OASIS, a national non-profit organization founded in 1982, is dedicated to enriching the lives of people age 50 and older by offering programs that stimulate the intellect, promote healthy and active lifestyles and encourage community service. The OASIS vision is for older adults across the United States to have opportunities to pursue vibrant, healthy, productive and meaningful lives. OASIS seeks to positively impact the older adults’ lives—by partnering with other organizations to share knowledge; offer evidence-based programs; conduct evaluations; and adapt to meet the needs of diverse audiences. Today, nearly 40,000 people participate at any one time in OASIS programs, with more than 6,700 volunteers providing over 488,000 hours of service each year. Approximately 370,000 adults are members of OASIS in 39 cities across the country. This number is expected to increase dramatically with the aging of the United States population. It is estimated that, between the years 2000 and 2030, the number of older adults will grow from 35 million to 72 million.
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