One strategy to encourage physical activity among older adults is to introduce exercise programs in their residence facilities. This research describes the evaluation of an exercise program that was designed for individuals who live in an independent living facility for older adults in central Pennsylvania. The exercise program consisted of a fitness center with a treadmill and a stationary bicycle, as well as a series of courses including yoga, chair aerobics, a health topics class, a weight loss program, a walking program, and blood pressure screening sessions with a nurse. The evaluation data was collected at three times in an 18 month period, before the fitness center and program was introduced (April of 2008, n=102) and twice during the year after the program began (April of 2009, n=104; and November of 2009 n=99). In the evaluation survey, composite measures on activities of daily living were created, as well as a scale that identified the respondents’ attitudes about exercise. A one-way ANOVA reveals that there is a significant effect of participation on respondents’ scores on the exercise attitude scale. There is also a significant effect, albeit less significant, of participation on the respondents’ scores on the activities of daily living scale.
|Keywords:||Older Adults, Exercise, Elderly Fitness, Physical Activity and Aging|
Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, USA
Associate Professor of Social Work, Department of Social Work and Gerontology, Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, USA