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Why do seniors leave resistance training programs?

Authors Burton E, Hill AM, Pettigrew S, Lewin G, Bainbridge L, Farrier K, Airey P, Hill KD

Received 21 November 2016

Accepted for publication 9 February 2017

Published 27 March 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 585—592

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S128324

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Akshita Wason

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker


Elissa Burton,1 Anne-Marie Hill,1 Simone Pettigrew,2 Gill Lewin,3 Liz Bainbridge,1 Kaela Farrier,1 Phil Airey,4 Keith D Hill1

1School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science, 2School of Psychology and Speech Pathology, 3School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine, Curtin University, 4Council on the Ageing, Perth, WA, Australia

Purpose: The proportion of the population, that is older, is growing at a faster rate than other age groups. Physical activity is important for older people because it assists in living independently. Participating in resistance training on a regular basis (twice weekly) is recommended for older people; yet, fewer than 15% of people over 60 years achieve this level. The aim of this article was to investigate the factors contributing to older people’s decisions to stop participation in a resistance training program.
Participants and methods: Participants were older people who had chosen to participate in a structured resistance training program specifically designed for seniors and then after a period of time discontinued. This population received a questionnaire in the mail focused on factors contributing to their cessation of resistance training exercise. Qualitative results were analyzed using inductive content analysis.
Results: Fifty-six survey responses were received (average age 71.5 years, SD =9.0; 79% females). Injury, illness, and holidaying were the main reasons for ceasing participation. A small but important number of responses (11%) reported that they considered they were not provided with sufficient support during the resistance training programs.
Conclusions: To attract and retain their senior clients, the results indicate that program organizers need to provide tailored support to return to resistance training after injury and offer flexible and individualized services that accommodate older people’s life choices in retirement.

Keywords: older people, strength training, gymnasium, retention, aging

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