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Indexed/Abstracted in: Chemical Abstracts, CINAHL, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,111
Online ISSN 1827-1928
Deforche B., De Bourdeaudhuij I.
Department of Movement and Sport Sciences, University of Ghent, Belgium
Background. With the introduction of the new consensus on 30 minutes of moderate physical activity preferably on all days of the week, exercise implemented into daily activities is promoted whereas structured activity programs lose importance. Activity levels of most older people don’t come up with current recommendations. Therefore strategies to enhance attendance of older adults in physical activities should be developed. Group programs may be more effective in changing exercise behaviour of older adults than non-supervised physical activity. The purpose of this study was to investigate the differences in level of activity and psychosocial determinants of physical activity between seniors involved in an exercise class and seniors not engaged in any organised physical activity.
Methods. Seventy-five elderly who were currently involved in structured exercise classes and 75 elderly who did not participate in any organised physical activity during the previous year were recruited in senior citizens’ centres and were asked to fill out a questionnaire.
Results. Subjects involved in an exercise program had higher levels of activity and reported more social influences and higher self-efficacy compared to the respondents practising on an individual basis. No differences were found in perceived barriers or benefits.
Conclusions. Exercising in a group program gives the opportunity to accumulate some extra physical activity and positively affects the level of activity outside the program. Stimulating older adults to join a structured activity program in the company of family or friends in order to enhance supporting social influences and perceived competence could be an important intervention strategy.