It’s not just physical: Exercise physiologist-led exercise program promotes functional and psychosocial health outcomes in aged care
Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
Human Kinetics Publishers Inc.
School of Medical and Health Sciences
Edith Cowan University, ECU
Regular physical activity has multiple benefits for older adults, including improved physical, cognitive, and psychosocial health. This exploratory study investigated the benefits of a 12-week exercise program for older adults (n = 11 control and n = 13 intervention) living in a residential aged care facility in Perth, Western Australia. The program, prescribed and delivered by an accredited exercise physiologist, aimed to maintain or improve participants’ physical capacity. It comprised one-on-one exercise sessions (1 hr × 2 days/week × 12 weeks), involving a components-approach intervention. Physical performance measures (balance, strength, flexibility, and mobility) were assessed preintervention and postintervention. Qualitative interviews postintervention with residents participating in the exercise intervention, and with family members, staff, and research team members, explored barriers and enablers to participation and perceived psychosocial outcomes. Findings indicate the program provided physical benefits and enhanced social engagement for participants, illustrating the value of providing exercise physiology services in the aged care sector. © 2020 Human Kinetics, Inc.