Introduction Many older adults are not physically active despite the well-documented health benefits of regular exercise. We examined cardiovascular, strength, and mobility outcomes among a sample of racially/ethnically diverse adults aged 55 or older participating in a community park-based physical activity program. Methods We assessed the following among adults aged 55 or older who attended a 1-hour park-based fitness class 2 or 3 times per week for 21 weeks: 1) 3 fitness outcomes, 2) systolic and diastolic blood pressure, 3) height and weight (to assess body mass index), and 4) pulse. We collected data at baseline (August-September 2016) and follow-up (January–February 2017). Linear regression analysis, adjusting for sex, age, and race/ethnicity, examined the association between program participation and changes in outcomes. Results Adjusted models showed a mean decrease in systolic blood pressure (−3.80 mm Hg; 95% CI, −6.75 to −0.84 mm Hg) and diastolic blood pressure (−1.54 mm Hg; 95% CI, −3.01 to −0.06 mm Hg) and a mean increase in number of arm curls completed in 30 seconds (1.66; 95% CI, 0.71–2.61) from baseline to follow-up among all participants. Hispanic participants, compared with non-Hispanic white and non-Hispanic black participants, showed greater improvements in mean body mass index (−2.48; 95% CI, −4.60 to −0.34), systolic blood pressure (8.59 mm Hg; 95% CI, −16.82 to −0.36 mm Hg), diastolic blood pressure (−7.06 mm Hg; 95% CI, −11.16 to −2.97 mm Hg), and pulse (−6.53 beats per minute; 95% CI, −11.38 to −1.67 beats per minute). Conclusion Park-based fitness classes tailored to older, racially/ethnically diverse adults can improve cardiovascular health and strength.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health