Despite the well-documented health benefits of regular physical activity, a substantial number of middle-aged and older adults remain sedentary. As many older adults prefer to engage in physical activity on their own, rather than in a group or faci lity, home-based physical activity represents a promising modality for improving the health of the public at large. This paper reviews the empirical research on home-based physical activity programs designed for middle-aged and older adults. Results of aerobic and strength training home-based physical activity studies are summarized for both middle-aged and older community-residing adult and patient populations. Research gaps in the home-based physical activity literature are delineated, along with some of the barriers to filling those gaps. Finally, recommendations are offered for future research on and development of home-based physical activity programs.
Genevieve Fridlund Dunton, Audie A. Atienza, James Tscherne and Daniel Rodriguez
Research sought to identify combinations of risk and protective factors predicting change in physical activity (PA) over one year in high school students. Adolescents (N = 344; M = 15.7 years) participated in a longitudinal study with assessment of demographics, substance use/smoking exposure, height and weight, psychological factors, and PA in 10th and 11th grade. PA participation in 11th grade was greatest for adolescents who engaged in PA and had high sports competence (78%), and least for adolescents who did not engage in or enjoy PA (13%) in 10th grade. Identifying adolescent subgroups at risk for decreasing PA can inform the development of tailored interventions.
Audie A. Atienza, Brian Oliveira, B.J. Fogg and Abby C. King
This pilot investigation used portable electronic diaries to assess the physical activity and other health behaviors of 20 adults age 50+ (mean age = 61 years). Study aims were to examine whether computerized cognitive-behavioral strategies could increase adherence to the assessments, the acceptability of electronic diaries to assess everyday health, and the relationship between computerized physical activity assessments with a standardized physical activity measure. Although approximately two thirds of participants had never used an electronic diary, results indicated that a large majority (83%) reported enjoying the use of the electronic diaries, and most (72%) reported enjoying answering all of the health questions. The cognitive-behavioral strategies employed did not enhance assessment adherence, but electronic-diary-based activity levels corresponded more strongly with the poststudy standardized activity measure than the baseline standardized measure, providing evidence of temporal convergence. Findings suggest that the use of portable electronic technology in physical activity assessment of middle-aged and older adults deserves further study.