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