Promoting Walking Among Older Adults Living in Retirement Communities

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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The authors tested the feasibility and acceptability, and explored the outcomes, of 2 walking interventions based on ecological models among older adults living in retirement communities. An enhanced intervention (EI) was compared with a standard walking intervention (SI) among residents in 4 retirement facilities (N = 87 at baseline; mean age = 84.1 yr). All participants received a walking intervention including pedometers, printed materials, and biweekly group sessions. EI participants also received phone counseling and environmental-awareness components. Measures included pedometer step counts, activities of daily living, environment-related variables, physical function, depression, cognitive function, satisfaction, and adherence. Results indicated improvements among the total sample for step counts, neighborhood barriers, cognitive function, and satisfaction with walking opportunities. Satisfaction and adherence were high. Both walking interventions were feasible to implement among facility-dwelling older adults. Future studies can build on this multilevel approach.

Rosenberg is with the Group Health Research Institute, Group Health Cooperative Seattle, WA. Kerr, Sallis, Norman, Calfas, and Patrick are with the Dept. of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA.