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

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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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 Strong Women 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.

The authors are with the Friedman School of Nutrition, Tufts University, Boston, MA.