The Feasibility of Collecting Longitudinal Cardiovascular and Fitness Outcomes From a Neighborhood Park-Based Fitness Program in Ethnically Diverse Older Adults: A Proof-of-Concept Study

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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This proof-of-concept study examined feasibility of assessing longitudinal changes in body mass index, strength, mobility, and cardiovascular health outcomes in older, racial/ethnic minority adults participating in a park-based physical activity program. Study feasibility was based on follow-through data collection procedures and ability to manage and implement data collection, enrollment, and repeated measures data collection in older adults (≥50 years; n = 380; 45% Hispanic, 41% non-Hispanic Black) over a 28-month period. Mixed models were developed to estimate the effects of program participation over time on participant cardiovascular and fitness outcomes and across poverty and age subgroups. Model estimates adjusted for individual-level sociodemographics showed improvements across each 4 month time point in arm strength (0.55 arm curl; 95% confidence interval [0.33, 0.77]) and systolic (−0.68 mmHg; 95% confidence interval [−1.22, −0.13]) and diastolic (−0.47 mmHg; 95% confidence interval [−0.79, −0.16]) blood pressure. An Age × Poverty interaction found greater improvements in systolic and diastolic blood pressure among younger participants living in low poverty (vs. older in higher poverty). Study of the longitudinal association between fitness class participation and health outcomes was feasible in park-based settings.

Kling is with the Soffer Clinical Research Center, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, FL, USA. D’Agostino, Booth, Hansen, and Hawver are with the Department of Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces, Miami-Dade County, Miami, FL, USA. D’Agostino is also with the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC, USA. Mathew and Messiah are with the School of Public Health, The University of Texas Health Science Center, Dallas, TX, USA.

Kling (h.kling@med.miami.edu) is corresponding author.
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