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J Aging Phys Act. 2004 Apr;12(2):117-30.

The effects of life events and interpersonal loss on exercise adherence in older adults.

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  • 1Dept. Of Exercise Science, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, USA.


Associations of life events and interpersonal loss with participation in home- and group-based exercise were studied in 97 older adults (64 % women, 70.2 +/- 4.1 years). Life events were assessed with a modified Social Readjustment Rating Scale at baseline and 6 and 12 months. Exercise logs and class-attendance records documented exercise participation. Participants experienced 3.62 +/- 3.56 unique life events over the course of the study, and 28 participants reported an interpersonal loss (5 men, 23 women). Number of life events was negatively associated with home-based exercise participation (p <.05); among women, this association approached significance (p =.06) for class-based exercise. Women who experienced an interpersonal loss had lower class-based participation than those who did not (p =.02), but home-based participation rates were unaffected. Life events, particularly interpersonal loss, appear to have a negative impact on exercise in women, and this effect appears greater for class-based than for home-based exercise.

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