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Title: Walking and talking for fitness and well-being: Effects of a structured walking intervention in a community-based social organization for older adults
Authors: Pelssers, Johan
Delecluse, Christophe
Opdenacker, Joke
Kennis, Eva
Van Roie, Evelien
Boen, Filip #
Issue Date: Jul-2012
Series Title: Book of Abstracts of the 17th Annual Congress of the European College of Sports Science pages:500
Conference: Congress of the European College of Sport Science edition:17 location:Bruges date:4-7 July 2012
Abstract: Introduction: This study evaluated a ten-week structured walking intervention with systematic training progression in a community-based social organization for older adults on promoting physical activity, fitness and well-being among older adults (+55). The intervention prescribed pedometer-based walks in weekly walking schedules. These were competence-tailored based on a walking assessment (6’
walking test) and structured in walking load according to the principles of training progression. The intervention was implemented as a social activity in community-based meeting points of a social organization for older adults, including group walks.

Methods: The intervention condition consisted of 29 meeting points (n = 432) while 10 meeting points (n = 148) formed a waiting-list control condition. Measurements were at intervention start (pre-test) and end (post-test). The Godin LTEQ (Godin et al., 1985) was used to assess physical activity.The 6’ walking test (6MWT; Butland et al., 1982) was used to assess fitness. Well-being included measures of anxiety (STAI; Spielberger et al., 1983), well-being(Marcoen et al., 2002), and subjective health.

Results: Intention-to-treat linear mixed models revealed intervention effects on moderate intensity (F = 7.276, p < .01) and total physical activity (F = 6.185, p < .05), fitness (F = 9.486, p < .01), anxiety (F = 5.261,p < .05) and subjective health (F = 3.960, p < .05), and suggested an effect on low intensity physical activity (F = 3.291, p = .07). The effects consisted of increased low intensity (t = -6.482, p < .001) and total physical activity (t = -3.589, p < .001), fitness (t = -7.017, p < .001) and subjective health (t = -4.723, p < .001), and of reduced anxiety (t = 4.957, p < .001) over time. Moderate intensity physical activity remained unchanged in the intervention condition (t = -1.707, p = n.s.), but was reduced in the control condition (t = 2.131, p < .05), indicating the counteraction of a season effect.

Conclusions: The intervention was effective in promoting physical activity, fitness and aspects of wellbeing.The results underline the value of (A) training progression in structured walking interventions and of (B) community-based social organizations for older adults as intervention setting.

References: Butland RJA, Pang J, Gross ER, Woodcock AA, Geddes DM. (1982). Brit Med Jour, 284, 1607-08. Godin G, Sheppard RJ. (1985). Can Jour App Sport Sci, 10, 141-46. Marcoen A, Van Cotthem K, Billiet K, Beyers W.(2002). Tijds. Gero. Geriatrie, 33, 156-165. Spielberger CD, Gorsuch RL, Lushene R, Vagg PR, Jacobs GA. (1983). Manual for the State Trait Anxiety Inventory. Consulting Psychologists Press, Palo Alto.
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IMa
Appears in Collections:Departement Sociaal-agogisch Werk - KHLim
Physical Activity, Sports & Health Research Group
# (joint) last author

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