Potential benefits of a novel home-based exercise program for inactive older adults: an exploratory case study

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University of New Brunswick


PURPOSES: This study aimed to determine if home-based exercise for an inactive older adult population can help overcome barriers and stimulates enablers for regular exercise at the recommended intensity. METHODS: The strategy was three weeks of square-stepping exercise (SSE) and bodyweight exercises with home-equipment. Using Embedded mixed methods, 10 inactive older adults completed an intervention in conjunction with follow-up interviews to enhance observations. Data analysis employed the framework method. RESULTS: The intervention helped overcome barriers such as body image and being uncomfortable in a gym; enablers included the exercise protocol, home equipment, and how the program was convenient. The average total steps/day increased by 27% (p=0.02) during the intervention and moderate intensity was reached in 80% of the participants when preforming SSE. CONCLUSIONS: A home-based exercise program using SSE and bodyweight exercises could potentially increase the physical activity level of inactive older adults especially for those intimated by a fitness facility setting.