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Aging Clinical and Experimental Research

, Volume 28, Issue 6, pp 1227–1235 | Cite as

Translating exercise interventions to an in-home setting for seniors: preliminary impact on physical activity and function

  • Christopher J. DondzilaEmail author
  • Ann M. Swartz
  • Kevin G. Keenan
  • Amy E. Harley
  • Razia Azen
  • Scott J. Strath
Original Article

Abstract

Aims

The purpose of this study is to investigate whether an in-home, individually tailored intervention is efficacious in promoting increases in physical activity (PA) and improvements in physical functioning (PF) in low-active older adults.

Methods

Participants were randomized to two groups for the 8-week intervention. The enhanced physical activity (EPA) group received individualized exercise programming, including personalized step goals and a resistance band training program, and the standard of care (SoC) group received a general activity goal. Pre- and post-intervention PF measures included choice step reaction time, knee extension/flexion strength, hand grip strength, and 8 ft up and go test completion time.

Results

Thirty-nine subjects completed this study (74.6 ± 6.4 years). Significant increases in steps/day were observed for both the EPA and SoC groups, although the improvements in the EPA group were significantly higher when including only those who adhered to weekly step goals. Both groups experienced significant PF improvements, albeit greater in the EPA group for the 8 ft up and go test and knee extension strength.

Conclusion

A low cost, in-home intervention elicited improvements in both PA and PF. Future research is warranted to expand upon the size and scope of this study, exploring dose thresholds (and time frames) for PA to improve PF and strategies to further bolster adherence rates to maximize intervention benefits.

Keywords

Steps Resistance bands Physical functioning 

Abbreviations

PA

Physical activity

PF

Physical functioning

EPA

Enhanced physical activity

SoC

Standard of care

CSRT

Choice step reaction time

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to acknowledge Geeta Betrabet and Kimberly Winker for their assistance in data collection. This work was partially supported by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Research Growth Initiative Award.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

None.

Human and animal rights

All procedures utilized in this study were approved by the University’s Institutional Review Board.

Informed consent

Written and verbal consent was obtained from each participant prior to enrolling.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher J. Dondzila
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ann M. Swartz
    • 2
    • 3
  • Kevin G. Keenan
    • 2
    • 3
  • Amy E. Harley
    • 4
  • Razia Azen
    • 5
  • Scott J. Strath
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Movement ScienceGrand Valley State UniversityAllendaleUSA
  2. 2.Department of KinesiologyThe University of Wisconsin-MilwaukeeMilwaukeeUSA
  3. 3.Center for Aging and Translational ResearchThe University of Wisconsin-MilwaukeeMilwaukeeUSA
  4. 4.Zilber School of Public HealthThe University of Wisconsin-MilwaukeeMilwaukeeUSA
  5. 5.Department of Educational PsychologyThe University of Wisconsin-MilwaukeeMilwaukeeUSA

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