Effectiveness of Outdoor Exercise Parks on Health Outcomes in Older Adults—A Mixed-Methods Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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The objective of this systematic review was to examine the effectiveness of outdoor exercise park equipment on physical activity levels, physical function, psychosocial outcomes, and quality of life of older adults living in the community and to evaluate the evidence of older adults’ use of outdoor exercise park equipment. A search strategy was conducted from seven databases. Nine articles met the inclusion criteria. The study quality results were varied. Meta-analyses were undertaken for two physical performance tests: 30-s chair stand test and single-leg stance. The meta-analysis results were not statistically significant. It was not possible to conclude whether exercise parks were effective at improving levels of physical activity. The review shows that older adults value the benefits of health and social interaction from the use of exercise parks. Findings should be interpreted with caution due to the small sample sizes and the limited number of studies.

Ng and Burton are with the School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, Australia. Ng is also with Health and Social Sciences, Singapore Institute of Technology, Singapore, Singapore. Hill and Levinger are with the Rehabilitation, Ageing and Independent Living (RAIL) Research Centre, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Levinger is also with Clinical Gerontology Division, National Ageing Research Institute Ltd, and The Institute for Health and Sport, Victoria University Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Ng (yokeleng.ng1@postgrad.curtin.edu.au) is corresponding author.
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