Journal of Physical Activity & Health vol:11 pages:1492-1502
Background: This study evaluated the long-term effectiveness of multiple physical activity counseling strategies on subjective health among older adults.
Methods: Sedentary older adults (n = 442) were randomized to three programs: (1) a one-contact referral to locally-organized physical activities, (2) a one-contact provision of a walking program, (3) a ten-week multiple-contact physical activity coaching based on the Self-Determination Theory. Self-reports on well-being, trait anxiety and physical activity were completed at baseline (pre-test), and ten weeks after (ten-week follow-up), one year after (one-year follow-up) and two years after (two-year follow-up) pre-tests.
Results: All three programs yielded improvements in well-being and trait anxiety from pre-test to ten-week follow-up and to one-year follow-up. From pre-test to two-year follow-up, no changes emerged in well-being whereas trait anxiety increased significantly. Changes over time in well-being and anxiety were not significantly different between the programs. Changes in physical activity contributed significantly to the prediction of changes in well-being and trait anxiety.
Conclusions: The findings demonstrate the year-round effectiveness of physical activity counseling on subjective health among older adults, irrespective of counseling strategy. However, a relapse to baseline level occurred two years after the intervention. Physical activity appears to be an important determinant of older adults’ well-being.