Older adults' uptake and adherence to exercise classes: Instructors' perspectives.

Helen Hawley-Hague, Maria Horne, Dawn A Skelton, Chris Todd

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    Abstract

    Exercise classes provide a range of benefits for older adults, but adherence levels are poor. We know little of instructors' experiences of delivering exercise classes to older adults. Semistructured interviews, informed by the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB), were conducted with instructors (n = 19) delivering multicomponent exercise classes to establish their perspectives on older adults' uptake and adherence to exercise classes. Analysis revealed 'barriers' to uptake related to identity, choice/control, cost, and venue, and 'solutions' included providing choice/control, relating exercise to identity, a personal touch, and social support. Barriers to adherence included unrealistic expectations and social influences, and solutions identified were encouraging commitment, creating social cohesion, and an emphasis on achieving outcomes. Older adults' attitudes were an underlying theme, which related to all barriers and solutions. The instructor plays an important, but not isolated, role in older adults' uptake and adherence to classes. Instructors' perspectives help us to further understand how we can design successful exercise classes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)119-128
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Aging and Physical Activity
    Volume24
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016

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