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“I am active”: effects of a program to promote active aging

Authors Mendoza-Ruvalcaba N, Arias-Merino ED

Received 18 December 2014

Accepted for publication 3 February 2015

Published 5 May 2015 Volume 2015:10 Pages 829—837


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Neyda Ma Mendoza-Ruvalcaba,1 Elva Dolores Arias-Merino2

1Health Sciences Department, University of Guadalajara, University Center of Tonala Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico; 2Public Health Department, University of Guadalajara, University Center of Health Sciences, Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico

Background: Active aging involves a general lifestyle strategy that allows preservation of both physical and mental health during the aging process. “I am Active” is a program designed to promote active aging by increased physical activity, healthy nutritional habits, and cognitive functioning. The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of this program.
Methods: Sixty-four healthy adults aged 60 years or older were recruited from senior centers and randomly allocated to an experimental group (n=31) or a control group (n=33). Baseline, post-test, and 6-month follow-up assessments were performed after the theoretical–practical intervention. Effect sizes were calculated.
Results: At the conclusion of the program, the experimental group showed significant improvement compared with the control group in the following domains: physical activity (falls risk, balance, flexibility, self-efficacy), nutrition (self-efficacy and nutritional status), cognitive performance (processing speed and self-efficacy), and quality of life (general, health and functionality, social and economic status). Although some declines were reported, improvements at follow-up remained in self-efficacy for physical activity, self-efficacy for nutrition, and processing speed, and participants had better nutritional status and quality of life overall.
Conclusion: Our findings show that this program promotes improvements in domains of active aging, mainly in self-efficacy beliefs as well as in quality of life in healthy elders.

Keywords: active aging, successful aging, intervention program, randomized controlled trial

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