Physical activity and physical function in older adults in Georgia
Fitzpatrick, Sara Ellen
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This study examined the effects of a nutrition and physical activity intervention on improvements in daily physical activity, daily step counts, physical function, and barriers to physical activity of congregate meal participants in senior centers from all 12 Georgia Area Agencies on Aging. Participants were a convenience sample of older adults (N = 592, mean age 75 years, 84% female, 44% Caucasian, 55% African American) from 39 senior centers. The main physical activity interventions were an educator-led program using a modified version of the National Institute on Aging’s chair exercises and promotion of walking. Among those who completed the intervention, participants’ physical function scores, average minutes of physical activity per day, and average daily step counts significantly increased, while some barriers to physical activity were decreased. Although the intervention was successful, many participants did not complete the post-test and/or had difficulty recording step counts. In summary, although many participants engaged in less physical activity than recommended and had low physical function scores, these measures were all improved by an educator-led nutrition and physical activity intervention.
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