Community-Based Exergaming Program Increases Physical Activity and Perceived Wellness in Older Adults

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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Exergaming may be an effective strategy to increase physical activity participation among rural older adults. This pilot project examined the effects of a 24-wk exergaming and wellness program (8 wk onsite exergaming, 16-wk wellness newsletter intervention) on physical activity participation and subjective health in 46 rural older adults. Sociodemographic data and self-reported physical activity were analyzed using descriptive statistics and Cochran’s Q, respectively. Qualitative data were reviewed, categorized on the basis of theme, and tabulated for frequency. Increased physical activity and perceived health were the most reported perceived positive changes. Significant increases in physical activity participation were maintained among participants who were physically inactive at baseline. Best-liked features were physical activity and socialization. Findings suggest that this pilot exergaming and wellness program is effective in increasing physical activity in sedentary rural older adults, increasing socialization, and increasing subjective physical health among rural older adults.

Strand, Francis, and Peterson are with Dept. of Food Science and Human Nutrition; Margrett, the Dept. of Human Development and Family Studies; and Franke, the Dept. of Kinesiology, Iowa State University, Ames, IA. Address author correspondence to Sarah Francis at slfranci@iastate.edu