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Juliana Souza de Oliveira, Catherine Sherrington, Louise Rowling and Anne Tiedemann

To document the characteristics of participants aged 50 years and older in a local government group exercise program (Strong Seniors), to investigate the motivators and barriers to ongoing exercise, and to identify factors associated with more frequent exercise class attendance. Ninety-three participants completed a survey about exercise class attendance, motivators and barriers to participation, and exercise perceptions and self-reported exercise. The authors conducted a mixed-methods study involving both quantitative and qualitative analyses. Personal benefits of exercise and social influences were the most common motivators for regular exercise. Barriers to participation included health problems and lack of time (competing priorities). A higher score on the perceived exercise benefits scale is the only factor associated with a higher frequency of attendance at Strong Seniors classes. Exercise programs for people aged 50 years and older that emphasize associated health benefits and promote social support may be more likely to facilitate long-term attendance.

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Juliana S. Oliveira, Leanne Hassett, Catherine Sherrington, Elisabeth Ramsay, Catherine Kirkham, Shona Manning and Anne Tiedemann

This study aimed to summarize the function-related goals set by older people, and to explore gender differences in goal selection and associations between balance-related goals and fall history, self-rated balance, and fear of falling. We included community-dwelling people aged 60 years and older participating in two randomized controlled trials. Participants nominated two function-related goals, which were summarized into components of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health. Chi-square analyses were used to explore associations between goal types and participant characteristics. Goals related to recreation and leisure and walking were the most common function-related goals selected. Men and women set similar goals. Participants who had poor/fair self-reported balance were more likely to set a balance-related goal than people with good self-rated balance. In contrast, fallers and participants who had a fear of falling were not more likely to select a balance-related goal than nonfallers and participants who had no fear of falling, respectively.

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Abby Haynes, Catherine Sherrington, Geraldine Wallbank, David Lester, Allison Tong, Dafna Merom, Chris Rissel and Anne Tiedemann

The Coaching for Healthy Ageing trial evaluated the impact on physical activity (PA) and falls based on a year-long intervention in which participants aged 60+ receive a home visit, regular health coaching by physiotherapists, and a free activity monitor. This interview study describes the participants’ experiences of the intervention and ideas for improvement. The authors sampled purposively for maximum variation in experiences. The data were analyzed thematically by two researchers. Most of the 32 participants reported that the intervention increased PA levels, embedded activities, and generated positivity about PA. They were motivated by quantified PA feedback, self-directed goals, and person-centered coaching. Social connectivity motivated some, but the intervention did not support this well. The intervention structure allowed participants to trial and embed activities. Autonomy and relatedness were emphasized and should be included in future program theory. The authors identified synergistic effects, likely “essential ingredients,” and potential areas for improving this and similar interventions.