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Prev Med. 2008 Jun;46(6):511-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2008.01.010. Epub 2008 Jan 26.

Short and long-term adherence to swimming and walking programs in older women--the Sedentary Women Exercise Adherence Trial (SWEAT 2).

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School of Medicine and Pharmacology, University of Western Australia, Australia.



To examine in previously sedentary older women the effects of exercise mode and a behavioural intervention on short and long-term retention and adherence.


Healthy, sedentary women aged 50-70 years (N=116) were randomly assigned to a supervised 6-month swimming or walking program 3 sessions a week. They were further randomised to usual care or a behavioural intervention. The same program was further continued unsupervised for 6 months. We assessed retention, adherence, stage of exercise behaviour and changes in fitness.


One hundred women (86%) completed 6 months and 86 (74%) continued for 12 months. Retention rates were similar for both exercise modes at 6 and 12 months. Adherence to swimming or walking was similar after 6 months (76.3 (95% CI: 69.5, 83.1)% vs. 74.3 (67.7, 80.9)%) and 12 months (65.8 (57.9, 73.8)% vs. 62.2 (54.6, 70.0)%). The behavioural intervention did not enhance retention or adherence. Fitness improved for both exercise modes after 6 months and was maintained at 12 months.


Either swimming or walking programs initiated with careful supervision over 6 months resulted in similar high retention and adherence rates by highly motivated older women over 12 months. Behavioural intervention in this setting did not improve these rates further.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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