Effects of the 12-week WellREP exercise program on functional fitness in older women

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Slimmer, Mindy Lynn
Rogers, Nicole L.

Persuading people to adopt and maintain a regular physical activity program are two major challenges facing public health. Providing social support may increase the adoption and adherence rate of participation in exercise programs. It was hypothesized that participation in a 12-week WellREP designed to meet the goals of the ACSM and CDC with respect to appropriate physical activity programming for older adults would result in improvements in functional fitness, balance, and daily activity. The WellREP group consisted of 18 older women (X= 73 ± 7 yrs). The WellREP group met at a senior center for 12 wk, 2d•wk for a 50 min. training program and used an Omron pedometer to measure daily physical activity throughout the week. The Control group consisted of 15 older adults (X= 75 ± 6 yrs). Program effectiveness was assessed using the Senior Fitness Test to measure functional fitness (chair stand, arm curl, sit and reach, up & go, scratch test, and 12-min walk), balance: movement velocity, endpoint excursion, maximum endpoint excursion, and directional control for forward, right, left and back movements, pedometer measured daily physical activity, and weight. No differences between the WellREP group and the control group existed at baseline. All functional measures, excluding flexibility, in the WellREP group exhibited an 8% to 46% significant increases as compared to a -3% to 8% change in the CON group. Significant improvements in limits of stability measures were only observed in the maximum excursion measure (forward - 20% and backward - 23%). Significant improvements were observed in daily physical activity. Participants in the WellREP group increased their STEPS by 64% compared to a 5% increase in the CON group.

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Thesis (M.A.)--Wichita State University, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Program of Gerontology.