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Original Research Strength Training and Older Women: A Cross-Sectional Study Examining Factors Related to Exercise Adherence



201 – 218

Background: Despite the recognized health benefits, few older women participate in strength-training exercises. Methods: The purpose of this study was to examine factors related to older women’s adherence to strength training after participation in the StrongWomen Program, a nationally disseminated community program. Adherence was defined as ≥4 months of twice-weekly strength training. Surveys were sent to 970 program participants from 23 states and to participants’ corresponding program leaders. Five-hundred fifty-seven participants responded (57%). Results: Of respondents who completed surveys (527), 79% (415) adhered to strength training; adherers reported a mean of 14.1 ± 9.1 months of strength training. Logistic-regression analysis revealed that exercise adherence was positively associated with age (p = .001), higher lifetime physical activity levels (p = .045), better perceived health (p = .003), leader’s sports participation (p = .028), and leader’s prior experience leading programs (p = .006). Conclusion: These data lend insight to factors that may be related to exercise adherence among midlife and older women.

Authors: Rebecca A. Seguin, Christina D. Economos, Ruth Palombo, Raymond Hyatt, Julia Kuder, Miriam E. Nelson

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