Group exercise instructors are at particular risk for performance-related injuries because many teach multiple classes each day where they repetitively demonstrate exercise moves. To assess performance-related injuries, a paper-pencil survey was mailed to 1000 randomly selected American Council on Exercise certified group exercise instructors. Questionnaire respondents included 386 professionally certified female instructors from 48 states. Most injuries reported (77%) were of the lower extremity (feet, knee, calf, thigh, shin, ankle, hip). Less than one-fourth of the injuries (23%) were of the trunk or upper body (shoulder, arm, back). The three most commonly reported injury sites were the foot (13.1%), knee (12.5%), and back (9.5%). The three most common types of injury reported were general inflammation (20.7%), muscle strain or sprains (19.6%), and stress fractures (16.8%). Two independent variables were significantly associated with rates of injuries: obligatory exercise scores (p = .0028), and reports of a past eating disorder (p = .0007). Group exercise instructors are at particular risk for injury to the lower body. Those instructors with exercise and eating-related disorders are especially prone to activity-related injuries.
Sharon H. Thompson, Alan J. Case, and Roger G. Sargent
Kimberley L. Gammage, Breanne Drouin, and Larkin Lamarche
The current study compared a single yoga group exercise class and a resistance group exercise class for their effects on state body satisfaction and social physique anxiety in women.
A pretest-posttest design was used. Participants (N = 46) completed both a resistance exercise class and yoga class in a counterbalanced order. Measures of body satisfaction and social physique anxiety were completed immediately before and after each class.
A 2 (time) × 2 (class type) repeatedmeasures multiple analysis of variance showed a significant overall Time × Class Type interaction (F 2,44 = 5.69, P < .01, η p 2 = .21). There was a significant increase in body satisfaction after the yoga class. After both classes, there was a significant decrease in social physique anxiety, but the magnitude of the change was larger after the yoga class than after the resistance class.
Both types of exercise class were associated with improvements in body image, but there were greater improvements after the yoga class. This study provided evidence of the positive effects of yoga for reducing state social physique anxiety and increasing state body satisfaction, adding to correlational evidence suggesting that yoga is particularly beneficial for improving body image-related outcomes in women.
Ellen F. Binder, Marybeth Brown, Suzanne Craft, Kenneth B. Schechtman, and Stanley J. Birge
Fifteen community dwelling older adults, ages 66 to 97 years, with at least one risk factor for recurrent falls, attended a thrice weekly group exercise class for 8 weeks. In post- versus preexercise comparisons, knee extensor torque at 0°/sec increased by 16.5% (p = 0.055); time to perform the stand-up test once, and five times consecutively, improved by 29.4 and 27.4%, respectively (p = 0.05, p = 0.01); gait speed for 24 feet increased by 16.5% (p < 0.001); and performance of the progressive Romberg test of balance improved with a mean increase of 1.1 ± 0.9 positions (p = 0.001). Participants reported a significant increase in the mean number of times per week that they went out of their apartment/home independent of exercising, and a significant increase in the mean number of city blocks they could walk. Performance data for nine exercise participants at 1-yr postintervention are presented. A low- to moderate-intensity groups exercise program can effect improvements in lower extremity strength, gait speed, balance, and self-reported mobility function in frail older adults.
Lisa G. Johnson and Birgitta L. Baker
Louisiana State University’s School of Kinesiology has partnered with the Dr. Leo S. Butler Community Fitness Center in Baton Rouge, LA since 2003 offering our fitness studies concentration majors a unique service-learning experience. The center is located in a community with citizens battling many health issues, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, with limited access and resources that promote a heathy lifestyle. Students enrolled in a senior capstone course work with the community members in the Sensational Seniors fitness program. This fitness program addresses some of those needs by providing a variety of group exercise sessions promoting overall health and longevity for the participants. Our students are able to apply theoretical concepts learned in lectures and laboratories to address public health concerns in a real-life setting. The students lead group fitness activities, monitor blood pressures, and disseminate appropriate and updated health and exercise information for the seniors.
Brandon Grubbs, Ashley Artese, Karla Schmitt, Eileen Cormier, and Lynn Panton
This pilot study assessed the feasibility of incorporating animal-assisted therapy teams (ATT) into a 6-week group exercise program for older adults (77 ± 6 years). Fifteen participants were randomly assigned to an exercise with ATT (E+ATT; n = 8) or exercise only (E; n = 7) group. Groups exercised 3x/week for 45 min. Feasibility was assessed by three objectives: (1) ATT will not need extensive preparation beyond their original therapy training; (2) the study will require minimal cost; and (3) ATT must not impair the effectiveness of the exercise program. By the study conclusion, all objectives were met. Time and cost were minimal for ATT, and adherence was 93% and 90% for E+ATT and E, respectively. There were significant improvements in both groups (p ≤ .05) for arm curls, get-up and go, and 6-min walk. The results of this pilot study suggest that it is feasible to incorporate ATT into group exercise programming for older adults.
Lucy McPhate, Emily M. Simek, Terry P. Haines, Keith D. Hill, Caroline F. Finch, and Lesley Day
Group exercise has been shown to be effective in preventing falls; however, adherence to these interventions is often poor. Older adults’ preferences for how these programs can be delivered are unknown.
To identify older people’s preferences for how group exercise programs for falls prevention can be delivered.
A two-wave, cross-sectional, state-wide telephone survey was undertaken. Respondents were community-dwelling men and women aged 70+ in Victoria, Australia.
Open-ended questions were asked to elicit information regarding respondent preferences of the program, which were analyzed using a framework approach.
Ninetyseven respondents completed the follow-up survey. The results indicate that older adults most frequently report the short-term advantages and disadvantages when describing their preferences for group exercise, such as enjoyment, social interaction, and leader qualities. Longer-term advantages such as falls prevention were described less frequently.
This study indicates the importance of interpersonal skills, and that the opportunity for social interaction should not be overlooked as a positive feature of a group exercise program.
Joanna M. Auger and Nancy L.I. Spencer
programs across 18 studies. These programs typically only included participants who experience disability, and participants within each program had been diagnosed with the same type of neurological condition. These programs were predominantly taught by group exercise instructors who had minimal background
Steven R. Bray, Nancy C. Gyurcsik, Kathleen A. Martin Ginis, and S. Nicole Culos-Reed
The purpose of this study was to develop a measure of proxy efficacy for use in group exercise contexts (e.g., aerobics classes) where participants engage in exercise under the direction of a group exercise leader (e.g., aerobics instructor). Three phases of research are reported. Phase 1 involved group exercisers as active agents in the generating of questionnaire items. In Phase 2, novice exercisers assisted in an item-trimming process and the questionnaire was further refined into a 17-item two-dimensional scale based on preliminary psychometric testing. In the third phase, proxy efficacy beliefs of novice female exercisers (N = 70, average age = 21.09 years, SD = 5.11) were experimentally manipulated through exposure to different exercise group leadership and choreography styles. Results provide preliminary support for the Proxy Efficacy Exercise Questionnaire (PEEQ) as a measure that can provide valid and reliable scores representing women’s proxy efficacy beliefs in group exercise settings. Implications for future research in terms of furthering the construct validation process and potential contributions to understanding exercise adherence among novice exercisers are discussed.
Beth B. Weisenbach and Meghan H. McDonough
Physical activity is associated with psychosocial and physical health benefits for breast cancer survivors. Little is known, however, about survivors’ decision-making processes when considering joining group physical activity programs designed for survivors. Guided by interpretive description methodology (Thorne, 2008), N = 15 breast cancer survivors who were considering or had made the decision to join a dragon boating team were interviewed about their decisions to participate. Four patterns of decision making were identified: searching for a way to care for physical and social needs, taking advantage of opportunities created by breast cancer, dove in with little contemplation, and hesitant to connect with other survivors. Results have implications for understanding decisions to participate in physical activity groups in this population and overcoming challenges to participation.
Susan Dewhurst, Norah Nelson, Paul K. Dougall, and Theodoros M. Bampouras
The effects of long-term participation in Scottish country dance on body composition, functional ability, and balance in healthy older females were examined. Participants were grouped into dancers and physically active nondancers (ages 60–70 and 70–80 for both groups). Physical activity, body composition (body-mass index, skinfold thickness, waist-to-hip ratio), functional ability (6-min walk distance, 6-m walk time, 8-ft up-and-go time, lower body flexibility, shoulder flexibility), and static balance were measured. Younger dancers and physically active nondancers had similar 6-min walk distance, 6-m walk time, and 8-ft up-and-go time results; however, while older dancers performed similarly to younger dancers, older physically active nondancers performed poorer than their younger counterparts (p < .05). Body composition and static balance were the same for all groups. Regular physical activity can maintain body composition and postural stability with advancing age; however, Scottish country dance can delay the effects of aging on locomotion-related functional abilities.