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Sustainable participation in regular exercise amongst older people: developing an action research approach

Davies, Jeanne, Lester, Carolyn, O'Neill, Martin and Williams, Gareth Howard 2008. Sustainable participation in regular exercise amongst older people: developing an action research approach. Health Education Journal 67 (1) , pp. 45-55. 10.1177/0017896907086157

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Objective This article describes the Triangle Project's work with a post industrial community, where healthy living activities were developed in response to community members' expressed needs. Method An action research partnership approach was taken to reduce health inequalities, with local people developing their own activities to address health and well being issues. At the instigation of older women attending a community consultation, a low intensity exercise class was started. Baseline details including weight, self-assessed fitness and mobility problems were recorded. The class branched out into social activities including healthy eating, walks and outings; members controlling the pace and content of both class and spin-off activities via continuous feedback and discussion with the Triangle researcher. Two evaluation events were held using a focus group format. Findings Barriers to regular participation are discussed, together with the achievement of a sustainable fitness group with evidence of health improvement in an initially `unfit' group. Social aspects were highly valued by participants and contributed to sustainability of the class, which is now run by members without external input. Limitations Though activities appeared to be sustainable when the Triangle Project ended, no longer term follow-up has been possible due to cessation of funding. Implications Projects aiming to achieve sustainability should build in provision for longer term follow-up.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Cardiff Institute of Society and Health (CISHE)
Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods (WISERD)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Uncontrolled Keywords: action research exercise older women
Publisher: Sage
ISSN: 0017-8969
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 02:23

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