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The influence of exercise on physical performance in older Hispanic/Latino adults: the “¡Caminemos!” study

Background: As adults age, some people expect to “slow down” their level of physical activity. This expectation contributes to sedentary behavior. However, considerable evidence suggests that remaining active promotes physical health. Unfortunately, older Hispanic/Latino adults report lower levels of physical activity compared to their White counterparts.

Aim: This study evaluated the prospective effects of an evidence-based exercise intervention ¡Caminemos! on the physical performance of older Hispanic/Latinos.

Methods: We enrolled 572 older Hispanics/Latinos (≥60 years) in an exercise program assigning them to either: a) a treatment group – to receive an attribution-retraining program to dispel the idea that physical activity declines with age, plus a 1-hour exercise class or b) a control group – to receive general health education plus a 1-hour exercise class. Data was collected at baseline, 1-, 12-, and 24- months. Mixed-effects linear regression was used to determine the effects of the exercise class and age-reattribution on longitudinal changes in physical performance (NIA battery).

Conclusion: Overall, participants in both arms of the intervention benefitted from the exercise intervention. There was no significant findings between the control and treatment groups in regards to the age attribution intervention. These findings show that physical activity can impact the lifestyle of older Hispanics/Latinos, resulting in less sedentary behavior.

Author: 
Stephanie Lopez
School: 
Ripon College
Department: 
Psychology
Research Advisor: 
Dr. Lissette Piedra
Department of Research Advisor: 
Social Work
Year of Publication: 
2017