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Physical activity and physical function improved following a community-based intervention in older adults in Georgia senior centers

Physical activity and physical function improved following a community-based intervention in older adults in Georgia senior centers

Journal of Nutrition for the Elderly 27(1-2): 135-154

We evaluated a community-based physical activity intervention in Georgia senior centers. Participants were a convenience sample that completed the pre-test only (n = 592), or the pre-test, the intervention, and a post-test (n = 418, 98% aged 60 and older, mean age = 75, 83% female, 56% black). The 4-month physical activity intervention, based on the Health Belief Model, included 16 sessions that focused on educator-led chair exercises, promotion of walking, using a pedometer, and recording daily steps. Pre- and post-tests assessed physical activity and physical function, categorized as poor, moderate, or good (Short Physical Performance Battery). Following the intervention, participants improved their physical function (good physical function at pre-test vs. post-test: 16.5% vs. 25.3%, P < or = 0.001), increased minutes of physical activity by 26% (P < or = 0.001) and step counts by 29% (P < or = 0.0001, sub-sample, n = 95), and decreased reports of "it's not safe" as a barrier to physical activity (P < or = 0.05). Increased physical activity (P < or = 0.01) was associated with improved physical function following the intervention. The results of this evaluation provide an evidence base for the effectiveness of this community intervention for improving physical activity and physical function in older adults.

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Accession: 032814000

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PMID: 18928194

DOI: 10.1080/01639360802060223

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