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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 99, Issue 1, pp 36–40 | Cite as

The Health Benefits of a Physical Activity Program for Older Adults Living in Congregate Housing

  • Brenda Temple
  • Bonnie L. Janzen
  • Karen Chad
  • Georgia Bell
  • Bruce Reeder
  • Linda Martin
Article

Abstract

Background

In Saskatoon in 2002, as one of the key strategies for the in motion health promotion strategy, the Forever… in motion program was developed with the general goal of increasing opportunities for physical activity among older adults living in congregate housing. The three components of the program were a low-intensity exercise program, informal socialization and educational sessions. The objective of the present study was to examine whether participation in this program positively influenced participants’ physical, emotional, psychological and social well-being.

Methods

A quasi-experimental, pretest/post-test design was employed to examine the impact of the program on various aspects of participant well-being. Thirty-six program participants and a comparison group of 22 non-participants from two congregate housing facilities took part in the study. The pretest was administered to the study and comparison groups before or shortly after the 12-week session commenced, and the post-test was administered after the 12-week session had concluded. Pretest and post-test assessment consisted of self-report measures of 1) vitality, 2) self-rated health, 3) mental health, 4) social functioning, 5) role limitations due to emotional problems, 6) physical activity-related knowledge, and 7) self-efficacy for exercise. A multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) was conducted using the seven post-test scores as dependent variables and the pretest scores as covariates.

Results

After adjusting for differences in baseline characteristics, the findings revealed statistically significant improvements in self-reported health and self-efficacy for exercise in the program participant group as compared with non-participants.

Conclusion

The results of this study suggest that a relatively low-cost, low-intensity exercise program such as the Forever…in motion program may positively influence the well-being of older adults living in congregate housing. However, additional research with a larger number of participants and a more rigorous study design is needed to further elucidate the health benefits of the Forever… in motion program.

Keywords

Exercise aged health promotion 

Résumé

Contexte

Le programme Forever… in motion était l’un des éléments clés de la stratégie de promotion de la santé in motion implantée en 2002 à Saskatoon. Globalement, le programme visait à accroître les possibilités d’activité physique offertes aux personnes âgées vivant dans des habitations collectives. Il comportait trois volets: un programme de conditionnement à faible impact, une socialisation informelle et des séances de sensibilisation. Nous avons voulu déterminer si la participation à ce programme a eu une influence positive sur le bien-être physique, affectif, psychologique et social des participants.

Méthode

Nous avons employé une méthode pré-test/post-test quasi expérimentale pour analyser l’incidence du programme sur divers aspects du bien-être. Trente-six participants au programme et un groupe témoin de 22 non-participants ont été recrutés dans deux habitations collectives. Le prétest a été administré au groupe des participants et au groupe témoin avant ou peu après le début de la session de 12 semaines. Le post-test a été administré après la fin des 12 semaines. L’évaluation pré- et post-test comportait des mesures autodéclarées: 1) de la vitalité, 2) de l’état de santé auto-évalué, 3) de la santé mentale, 4) des relations sociales, 5) des contraintes dues à des troubles affectifs, 6) des connaissances sur l’activité physique et 7) de l’auto-efficacité par rapport au conditionnement physique. Nous avons effectué une analyse multivariée de la covariance (mancova) en utilisant les sept scores au post-test comme variables dépendantes et les scores au pré-test comme covariables.

Résultats

Après les rajustements nécessaires pour tenir compte des écarts dans les caractéristiques de base, nous avons noté des améliorations significatives de l’état de santé auto-évalué et de l’auto-efficacité par rapport au conditionnement physique dans le groupe des participants au programme, comparés aux non-participants.

Conclusion

Un programme d’activité physique à faible intensité et relativement peu coûteux, comme Forever… in motion, pourrait positivement influencer le bien-être des personnes âgées vivant dans des habitations collectives. Pour déterminer avec précision les avantages pour la santé de Forever... in motion, il faudrait pousser la recherche en recrutant un plus grand nombre de participants et en resserrant la méthode de l’étude.

Motsclés

conditionnement aînés promotion de la santé 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brenda Temple
    • 1
  • Bonnie L. Janzen
    • 2
  • Karen Chad
    • 3
  • Georgia Bell
    • 4
  • Bruce Reeder
    • 5
  • Linda Martin
    • 6
  1. 1.Saskatoon Health RegionSaskatoonCanada
  2. 2.Department of Community Health & EpidemiologyUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada
  3. 3.College of KinesiologyUniversity of SaskatchewanCanada
  4. 4.Saskatchewan Population Health and Evaluation Research Unit (SPHERU)Canada
  5. 5.Department of Community Health & EpidemiologyUniversity of SaskatchewanCanada
  6. 6.Therapeutic Recreation Services & in motionSaskatoon Health RegionCanada

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