Background: Although the benefi ts of physical activity for
older adults are widely recognized, evidence-based exercise
programs for seniors have not traditionally reached minority
and other at-risk subgroups.
Purposes: The purposes of this study are to describe the reach
of EnhanceFitness to underserved older African Americans in
the Greater Houston area and examine the effectiveness of the
program to improve clinical measures of physical activity.
Methods: Data were analyzed from 423 participants who
enrolled in EnhanceFitness in the Greater Houston area.
Changes in three clinical measures (i.e., Ten Foot Up-and-Go
Test, Arm Curl Test, and 30-Second Chair Stand Test) were
assessed from baseline to the fi rst 4-month follow-up period
(i.e., 63 matched cases).
Results: Results indicate signifi cant improvements in all clinical measures from baseline to follow-up.
Conclusions: Findings show that evidence-based physical
activity programs are effi cacious for older lower-income African American populations. To continue reaching these underserved and at-risk populations in the Greater Houston area,
efforts are being initiated to incorporate a train-the-trainer
model for broader dissemination and sustainability as well as
the development of a partnership network for enhancing the
adoption of other evidence-based chronic disease management programs.