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      Web-based Intervention to Promote Physical Activity by Sedentary Older Adults: Randomized Controlled Trial

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          Abstract

          Background

          Physical activity (PA) for older adults has well-documented physical and cognitive benefits, but most seniors do not meet recommended guidelines for PA, and interventions are lacking.

          Objectives

          This study evaluated the efficacy of a 12-week Internet intervention to help sedentary older adults over 55 years of age adopt and maintain an exercise regimen.

          Methods

          A total of 368 sedentary men and women (M=60.3; SD 4.9) were recruited, screened, and assessed online. They were randomized into treatment and control groups and assessed at pretest, at 12 weeks, and at 6 months. After treatment group participants rated their fitness level, activity goals, and barriers to exercise, the Internet intervention program helped them select exercise activities in the areas of endurance, flexibility, strengthening, and balance enhancement. They returned to the program weekly for automated video and text support and education, with the option to change or increase their exercise plan. The program also included ongoing problem solving to overcome user-identified barriers to exercise.

          Results

          The multivariate model indicated significant treatment effects at posttest ( P=.001; large effect size) and at 6 months ( P=.001; medium effect size). At posttest, intervention participation showed significant improvement on 13 of 14 outcome measures compared to the control participants. At 6 months, treatment participants maintained large gains compared to the control participants on all 14 outcome measures.

          Conclusions

          These results suggest that an online PA program has the potential to positively impact the physical activity of sedentary older adult participants. More research is needed to replicate the study results, which were based on self-report measures. Research is also needed on intervention effects with older populations.

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            Multiple Imputation after 18+ Years

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                J Med Internet Res
                J. Med. Internet Res
                JMIR
                Journal of Medical Internet Research
                Gunther Eysenbach (JMIR Publications Inc., Toronto, Canada )
                1439-4456
                1438-8871
                February 2013
                05 February 2013
                : 15
                : 2
                Affiliations
                [1] 1ORCAS Eugene, ORUnited States
                [2] 2Michael Mac Innovations Eugene, ORUnited States
                [3] 3Oregon Research Institute Eugene, ORUnited States
                [4] 4Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education Northern Illinois University DeKalb, ILUnited States
                Article
                v15i2e19
                10.2196/jmir.2158
                3636271
                23470322
                258cfd57-cf29-4b0e-ae56-47124bb4371c
                ©A. Blair Irvine, Vicky A. Gelatt, John R. Seeley, Pamela Macfarlane, Jeff M. Gau. Originally published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (http://www.jmir.org), 05.02.2013.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on http://www.jmir.org/, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.

                Categories
                Original Paper

                Medicine

                physical activity, older adults, internet, sedentary, multi-week, exercise

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