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Open Access Exercise Intervention Outcomes with Cannabis Users and Nonusers Aged 60 and Older

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Objectives: Cannabis use is increasing among older adults. We examined whether cannabis use impacted results of an intervention to increase physical activity in sedentary adults aged 60 and over. Methods: We measured differences in body mass index (BMI), exercise behavior, and cardiovascular fitness between older adult cannabis users (N = 28) and nonusers (N = 136) participating in an exercise intervention trial. Results: BMI of cannabis users was significantly lower than non-users (p = .007). Cannabis users reported .70 more days of exercise on the Stanford 7-Day Physical Activity Recall than non-users at the 8-week timepoint (p = .068) and were 4.1 points higher on the exercise subscale of the Community Healthy Activities Model Program for Seniors at 16-weeks (p = .045). Neither baseline nor post-intervention fitness differed by cannabis use status, and cardiovascular fitness improved after intervention in the full sample. Conclusion: These preliminary data suggest that current cannabis use status is not associated with a negative impact on fitness and efforts to increase exercise in sedentary older adults. Future studies should collect more detailed information on patterns and forms of cannabis use to understand their potential health effects for older adults.
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Keywords: AGING; BODY MASS INDEX; CANNABIS; MARIJUANA; OLDER ADULTS; PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Sophie L. YorkWilliams, Department of Psychology & Neuroscience, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO;, Email: [email protected] 2: Laurel P. Gibson, Department of Psychology & Neuroscience, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO 3: Charleen J. Gust, Department of Psychology & Neuroscience, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO 4: Gregory Giordano, Department of Psychology & Neuroscience, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO 5: Kent E. Hutchison, Department of Psychology & Neuroscience , University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO 6: Angela D. Bryan, Department of Psychology & Neuroscience, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO

Publication date: July 1, 2020

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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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