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Gerontologist. 2009 Dec;49(6):847-55. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnp113. Epub 2009 Jul 10.

Do sedentary older adults benefit from community-based exercise? Results from the Active Start program.

Author information

  • 1Davis School of Gerontology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0191, USA. tingjiay@usc.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE:

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.

DESIGN AND METHODS:

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.

RESULTS:

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.

IMPLICATIONS:

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.

PMID:
19592637
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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