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The purpose of this systematic review was to assess the characteristics and effectiveness of community-based interventions designed to increase physical activity participation in older adults (aged 65 years or more) living in rural or regional areas. Relevant peer-reviewed literature was obtained, using four primary electronic search engines, in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses statement. The initial search identified 4,690 articles. After removal of duplicates and excluded articles, seven articles were included in the review. Few consistencies existed between intervention types, duration, outcome measures, and follow-up. Results provide some evidence to support the effectiveness of community-based interventions that include low- to moderate-intensity exercise to increase physical activity, physical function, and psychological state. However, without more rigorous studies it is difficult to identify the most critical characteristics of community-based interventions for older adults in rural and regional settings.
Moore and Warburton are with the John Richards Initiative, College of Science, Health and Engineering, La Trobe University, Wodonga, Australia. O’Halloran is with Public Health, College of Science, Health and Engineering, La Trobe University, Australia. Shields is with Physiotherapy, College of Science, Health and Engineering, La Trobe University, Australia; and Northern Health, Australia. Michael Kingsley is with Exercise Physiology, College of Science, Health and Engineering, La Trobe University, Australia.