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Motivating Inactive Seniors to Participate in Physical Activity: A Pilot RCT

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Objectives: We investigated the potential of social support in an adherence intervention to foster physical activity (PA) among sedentary older adults. Methods: We compared 2, 9-week intervention programs aimed at increasing PA levels in older persons. One program offered PA alone, whereas the other combined a PA program with a social adherence intervention (PASAI). The interventions involved 39 sedentary older adults living in senior congregate housing in Israel, each randomly assigned to an intervention program. Information about PA levels, self-efficacy, and social support for exercise was collected through personal interviews before, after, and at a one-month follow-up. At follow-up, participants were asked to report whether they remained in contact with other group members. Results: PASAI program participants showed significantly higher levels of PA compared to PA program participants. Both self-efficacy and social support were associated with changes in PA. In the PASAI program, 67% of participants remained in contact with other group members; by contrast, PA participants did not maintain any contact. Conclusion: Self-efficacy perception and on-going social support encourage adherence to PA.
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Keywords: EXERCISE; MOTIVATORS AND BARRIERS; OLDER ADULTS; PHYSICAL ACTIVITY; SELF-EFFICACY; SOCIAL SUPPORT

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Health Promotion, School of Public Health, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Mineva Center for Interdisciplinary Study of End of Life and Herczeg Institute on Aging, Tel-Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel; ;, Email: [email protected] 2: Department of Health Promotion, School of Public Health, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel

Publication date: January 1, 2019

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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