Assignment: Fastest Growing Population
The major result of this study was that adherence rates, as measured by attendance, were signifi- cantly higher in the group that received the educational intervention compared to the exercise only group. In addition, after 8 weeks of strength training, handgrip strength significantly increased for the EST group only, and time to complete the Up and Go test significantly decreased for both the EST and ST groups—suggesting an improved functionality. Quality of life significantly increased for both the EST and ST groups following 8 weeks of training. Finally, strength knowledge was significantly improved for the EST group only.
Older adults are the fastest growing population in the United States and currently the least physically active. An abundance of information is available on the benefits of physical activity for this population, as well as very clear and direct recommendations by the AHA and ACSM (Nelson et al., 2007). It is imperative that older adults increase their physical activity levels in order to maintain an independent and functional lifestyle. To date, many studies have examined the effects of resistance training on older adults; yet, none have examined the impact of an educational interven- tion paired with a resistance exercise program.
The overall focus of this study was to increase participation in strength training among older adults. Compared to the exercise alone group, the educational intervention was effective in main- taining a higher attendance rate. A study by Mikesky et al. (1994) divided a group of older adults into strength training and a control group and found that the strength-training group had a 90% attendance rate. In 2006, Chin A Paw et al. found a 76% attendance rate in a group of older adults that participated in a strength-training intervention and suggested that educating older adults about the benefits accomplished from regular exercise may increase attendance. In this study, the atten- dance rate of the group that received both the strength and educational intervention was 87.5%, which is similar to the attendance rate reported by Mikesky et al. (1994) and higher than the rates reported by Chin A Paw, Van Poppel, Twisk, and Van Mechelen (2006). The results from the
Table 2. Up and Go and Handgrip test scores for all groups pre- and postintervention (N = 28).
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