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  • Author: Sarah L. Francis x
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Kara A. Strand, Sarah L. Francis, Jennifer A. Margrett, Warren D. Franke and Marc J. Peterson

Exergaming may be an effective strategy to increase physical activity participation among rural older adults. This pilot project examined the effects of a 24-wk exergaming and wellness program (8 wk onsite exergaming, 16-wk wellness newsletter intervention) on physical activity participation and subjective health in 46 rural older adults. Sociodemographic data and self-reported physical activity were analyzed using descriptive statistics and Cochran’s Q, respectively. Qualitative data were reviewed, categorized on the basis of theme, and tabulated for frequency. Increased physical activity and perceived health were the most reported perceived positive changes. Significant increases in physical activity participation were maintained among participants who were physically inactive at baseline. Best-liked features were physical activity and socialization. Findings suggest that this pilot exergaming and wellness program is effective in increasing physical activity in sedentary rural older adults, increasing socialization, and increasing subjective physical health among rural older adults.

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Ashleigh J. Sowle, Sarah L. Francis, Jennifer A. Margrett, Mack C. Shelley and Warren D. Franke

Rural-residing older adults (OA) are not meeting physical activity (PA) recommendations, such that identifying methods of increasing PA among OA remains an ongoing challenge. This study evaluated the effect of a community-based exergaming program on PA readiness-to-change and self-efficacy among rural-residing OA (n = 265). There was a significant (p = .008) increase in readiness-to-change classification from PRE to POST. Significant increases in self-efficacy, or confidence in their ability to be physically active for a prescribed period of time, were detected for 35 (p = .011) and 40 min (p = .035) of continuous PA. PA self-efficacy change for 35 min of continuous PA (F [3,137] = 3.973, p = .010) and 40 min of continuous PA (F [3,137) = 2.893, p = .038) were influenced by the interaction between PRE self-reported health and PRE PA readiness-to-change levels. Results suggest that an exergaming-themed PA intervention is effective at increasing PA participation and self-efficacy for PA among rural-residing OA.