Promotion of Healthy Aging Within a Community Center Through Behavior Change: Health and Fitness Findings From the AgeWell Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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The purpose of this randomized controlled trial was to determine if behavior change through individual goal setting (GS) could promote healthy aging, including health and fitness benefits in older adults who attended a community “AgeWell” Center for 12 months. Seventy-five older adults were randomly allocated to either a control or a GS group. Health outcomes were measured at baseline and after 12 months of the participants’ having access to the exception of Agewell Center facilities. The findings demonstrate that participation in the Center in itself was beneficial, with improved body composition and reduced cardiovascular risk in both groups (p < .05), and that this kind of community-based resource offers valuable potential for promoting protective behaviors and reducing health risk. However, a specific focus on identifying individual behavior change goals was required in order to achieve increased activity engagement (p < .05) and to bring about more substantial improvements in a range of health, diet, and physical function measures (p < .05).

Thom is with the School of Medical Sciences, UNSW Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Nelis and Clare are with the Centre for Research in Ageing and Cognitive Health (REACH), University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom. Cooney is with the Bangor University, Bangor, United Kingdom. Hindle is with the Department of Care for the Elderly, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, Llandudno, United Kingdom. Jones is with the Wales Institute for Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods, Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom.

Thom (j.thom@unsw.edu.au) is corresponding author.
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