Development and Evaluation of “Aging Well and Healthily”: A Health-Education and Exercise Program for Community-Living Older Adults

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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The Aging Well and Healthily (AWH) program consists of health education by peers and low-intensity exercise. It was evaluated via a small randomized controlled trial and a community intervention trial involving older adults in the Netherlands. Reasons stated for participation were to exercise (35%), to acquire information about health (28%), and for social reasons (12%). The program was rated 8.2 on a 10-point scale. Twenty-five percent of participants joined exercise groups after the program ended, and 28% intended to do so. The mean physical activity score improved from 2.6 to 4.6 at follow-up (F = 16.9, p = .00) and was for the least active participants significantly different from that of the control group (F = 22.9, p = .02). Four to 6 months later, 60% of respondents reported still doing the exercises regularly at home. It is concluded that AWH is a potentially effective program for older adults.

Hopman-Rock is with TNO Prevention and Health, 2301 CE Leiden, the Netherlands and Body@Work Research Center TNO VU. Westhoff is now with the Netherlands Heart Foundation, 2501 CH The Hague, the Netherlands.


Editor's Note: JAPA is pleased to publish a set of two articles that describe the development, evaluation, and implementation of a major national program for promoting physical activity among older adults in the Netherlands. The Aging Well and Healthily (AWH) program is a collaborative venture between several major national organizations. The first article describes the development and evaluation of the program, and the second focuses on its dissemination and implementation.

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