Community-based exercise programs are popular for achieving physical activity among older adults, but the amount of physical activity obtained through such programs is unknown. This study quantified the bone-loading forces and levels of cardiovascular activity associated with participation in “Better Bones and Balance” (BBB), a community-based fall- and fracture-prevention program for older adults.
Thirty-six postmenopausal women age 73.2 ± 7.6 yr engages in BBB participated in this study. Ground-reaction forces (GRFs) associated with BBB exercises were evaluated using a force platform. Session and weekly totals of minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and total time spent above 55% maximum heart rate (HR) were measured using accelerometers and HR monitors, respectively.
BBB exercises produced mean 1-leg GRFs of 1.4–2.2 units body weight. Weekly BBB participation was associated with 126 ± 31 min of MVPA.
Activity obtained by BBB participation meets recommended guidelines for skeletal and cardiovascular health.
The authors are with the School of Biological and Population Health Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR.