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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.