Comparing online and in-person delivery of a fall prevention exercise program for older adults

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University of New Brunswick


Exercise is the most important strategy to reduce the risk of falls in older adults. Falls have important individual and societal consequences. As a result, many communities offer fall prevention exercise programs. Offering an exercise program online could improve accessibility. The Zoomers on the Go program is offered for 12 weeks, 2x/week, to adults aged 50+, by a peer leader. Due to the social distancing restrictions and governmental lockdown orders imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic, the program transferred from in person to online delivery. The main outcome of this study was lower body strength measured using the 30-second chair stand test delivered online (n= 103) compared to in person delivery (n=95). Secondary outcomes include other physical function tests, demographics, self-perceived benefits, drop-out, and attendance. Online delivery is associated with a greater attendance, with no difference in functional benefits between delivery modes. However, in-person delivery could offer more health-related benefits reported by participants.