Open Access Research Article

Evaluating Physical Activity And Quality of Life For Older Adults Through Walk With Ease

Kimberly A Shaffer1*, Heather Hensman Kettrey2, Sarah B King1

1Department of Sport & Exercise Sciences, Clemson University Youth Learning Institute SNAP-Ed, Clemson University, USA

2Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice, Clemson University, USA

Corresponding Author

Received Date: September 22, 2021;  Published Date: October 01, 2021


Background: Prolonged sedentary behavior may have adverse effects on an individual’s physical and psychological well-being, especially among older adult populations. Programs such as Walk With Ease (WWE) have been developed to encourage more physical activity among targeted audiences. However, little research has been done to evaluate the program’s impact on participants’ quality of life in addition to physical activity behavior.

Aims: This study evaluated physical activity and quality of life outcomes among older adults in the WWE program, determined participants with the greatest overall change in behavior, and identified elements within course content that had a significant impact on outcomes.

Methods: Pre- and post-survey assessments (n=86) were administered to participants before and after the six-week program. The assessment included questions from validated tools such as the Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly (PASE) and Brief Inventory of Thriving (BIT) scale. Participant surveys were later matched to provide individual behavior change.

Results: Participants engaged in significantly more walking after completing WWE than they did before beginning the program (g = 0.63; 95% CI [0.33, 0.94]). Attending Session 1 was associated with significant pre-posttest decreases in sitting (b = -2.40, p < .05) and attending Session 3 was associated with significant increases in muscle strength/endurance activities (b = 1.65, p < .01).

Conclusion: WWE provides desirable pre-posttest changes in physical activity and quality of life among a general sample of older adults. A hybrid program in which some activity sessions are provided independently may be a valuable option for future courses.

Keywords: Physical activity, walking, quality of life, Older adults, Health behavior change

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