Impact of a community-based falls prevention program on maintenance of physical activity among older adults.

Laforest S, Pelletier A, Gauvin L, Robitaille Y, Fournier M, Corriveau H, Filiatrault J

This study examines the 9-month impact of a 12-week falls prevention program (called Stand Up!) which included balance exercises and educational components on maintenance of physical activity among community-dwelling seniors. Data were collected among 98 experimental and 102 control participants at baseline, immediately after the program and 9 months later. Involvement in physical activity was measured with three indicators. Both groups showed similar increases in weekly frequency of exercise at the 9-month posttest. However, the program's participants showed higher increases in their variety of exercises at the 9-month posttest (especially among those with greater baseline scores). Among seniors reporting lower levels of energy expenditure at baseline, the program's participants showed significantly greater increases in energy expenditure than control participants.

These preliminary findings suggest that programs such as Stand Up! have the potential to stimulate continued involvement in physical activity.

J Aging Health,  2009, 21(3), 480-500

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