Comparing Class-Based and Home-Based Exercise for Older Adults With Chronic Health Conditions: 12-Month Follow-Up of a Randomized Clinical Trial

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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Objective: To assess the maintenance of physical activity (PA) and health gains among participants in a class-based (CB) or home-based (HB) PA intervention over a 12-month study period. Methods: A total of 172 adults aged 50 years and older were randomly allocated to either a CB or an HB intervention, each involving an intensive 3-month phase with a 9-month follow-up period. Measures at baseline, 3, 6, and 12 months included self-reported PA and health, body mass index, waist circumference (WC), blood pressure, cardiovascular endurance (6-min walk test), physical function, and functional fitness (senior fitness test). Outcomes were analyzed using generalized estimating equations. Results: Maximum improvement was typically observed at 3 or 6 months followed by a modest diminution, with no differences between groups. For body mass index, waist circumference, 6-min walk test, and senior fitness test, there was progressive improvement through the study period. Greater improvement was seen in the CB group compared with the HB group on three items on the senior fitness test (lower body strength and endurance [29% vs. 21%, p < .01], lower body flexibility [2.8 cm vs. 0.4 cm, p < .05], and dynamic agility [14% vs. 7%, p < .05]). Conclusion: The interventions were largely comparable; thus, availability, preferences, and cost may better guide program choice.

Fisher is with California State University, Fullerton, Fullerton, CA. Reeder, Harrison, Pahwa, Sari, and Chad are with the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada. Bruner is with Nipissing University, North Bay, ON, Canada. Ashworth is with the University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada. Sheppard is with Saskatoon Health Region, Saskatoon, SK, Canada. Shields is with Acadia University, Wolfville, NS, Canada.

Address author correspondence to Koren L. Fisher at kofisher@fullerton.edu.
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