Do sedentary older adults benefit from community-based exercise? Results from the Active Start program.
ABSTRACT 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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- "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). "
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 01/2012; 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.Ageing International 06/2012; 38(2). DOI:10.1007/s12126-012-9170-3
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ABSTRACT: Previous studies have examined physical risk factors in relation to functional health, but less work has focused on the protective role of psychological and social factors. We examined the individual and joint protective contribution of control beliefs, social support and physical exercise to changes in functional health, beyond the influence of health status and physical risk factors in middle-aged and older adults. Given that functional health typically declines throughout adulthood, it is important to identify modifiable factors that can be implemented to maintain functioning, improve quality of life, and reduce disability. We conducted a national longitudinal study, Midlife in the United States (MIDUS), with assessments in 1995-1996 and 2004-2006, and 3,626 community-residing adults, aged 32 to 84, were included in the analyses. Functional health (Physical Functioning subscale of the SF-36) and protective factors were measured at both occasions. While controlling for socio-demographic, health status, and physical risk factors (large waist circumference, smoking, and alcohol or drug problems), a composite of the three protective variables (control beliefs, social support, and physical exercise) at Time 1 was significantly related to functional health change. The more of these factors at Time 1, the better the health maintenance over 10 years. Among middle-aged and older adults, declines in health were significantly reduced with an increased number of protective factors. Age-related declines in health were reduced among those with more protective factors up to a decade earlier in life. Modifiable psychological, social, and physical protective factors, individually and in the aggregate, are associated with maintenance of functional health, beyond the damaging effects of physical risk factors. The results are encouraging for the prospect of developing interventions to promote functional health and for reducing public health expenditures for physical disability in later life.PLoS ONE 10/2010; 5(10):e13297. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0013297 · 3.53 Impact Factor