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Sandor Dorgo, George A. King and Gregory D. Brickey

Purpose:

To investigate the effectiveness of a peer-mentored exercise program, this study compared the program perception, retention and participation rates, and physical improvements of older adults trained by peer mentors (PMs) with those of a group trained by student mentors (SMs).

Methods:

After a 30-week peer-mentor preparation, 60 older adults (M ± SD age: 68.7 ± 6.1 yr) were recruited and randomly assigned to either the PM or the SM group. Both groups completed an identical 14-week fitness program. Pre- and posttraining assessments of fitness were completed, and the efficacy of the PMs and SMs was surveyed.

Results:

High retention was observed in both groups, but the SM group had higher participation. Both groups improved their fitness significantly, with no significant posttest differences between the groups in most fitness measures or in program perception rates.

Discussion:

Findings suggest effectiveness of the peer-mentor model in an older adult exercise program.

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Jeremy A. Steeves, Catrine Tudor-Locke, Rachel A. Murphy, George A. King, Eugene C. Fitzhugh, David R. Bassett, Dane Van Domelen, John M. Schuna Jr and Tamara B. Harris

Background: Little is known about the daily physical activity (PA) levels of people employed in different occupational categories. Methods: Nine ActiGraph accelerometer-derived daily PA variables are presented and ranked for adults (N = 1465, 20–60 y) working in the 22 occupational categories assessed by NHANES 2005–2006. A composite score was generated for each occupational category by summing the rankings of 3 accelerometer-derived daily PA variables known to have strong associations with health outcomes (total activity counts [TAC], moderate to vigorous PA minutes per week in modified 10-minute bouts [MVPA 10], and percentage of time spent in sedentary activity [SB%]). Results: Classified as high-activity occupational categories, “farming, fishing, forestry,” and “building & grounds cleaning, maintenance” occupations had the greatest TAC (461 996 and 449 452), most MVPA 10 (149.6 and 97.8), most steps per day (10 464 and 11 602), and near the lowest SB% (45.2% and 45.4%). “Community, social services” occupations, classified as low-activity occupational categories, had the second lowest TAC (242 085), least MVPA 10 (12.1), fewest steps per day (5684), and near the highest SB% (64.2%). Conclusions: There is a strong association between occupational category and daily activity levels. Objectively measured daily PA permitted the classification of the 22 different occupational categories into 3 activity groupings.